Stage Current Shows

Weigh in the local theater

A Picasso:Picture this: Bearlike Pablo Picasso sits in a dark stone cellar amid stacks of paintings, staring intently at his beautiful female model, who happens to be a Nazi official. As the woman disrobes, Picasso sketches, and despite the dank, dark surroundings, you can feel the temperature rise. That's the most memorable moment in A Picasso, but unfortunately it's the final one. John Tillinger's staging is superior, as are veteran performers Peter Michael Goetz and Lucie Arnaz, but Jeffrey Hatcher's two-character drama is written as an intermissionless one-acter that feels like the first part of something more: Just when Goetz and Arnaz get going, the whole thing is over. -- RM Through May 9. Coconut Grove Playhouse, 3500 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove. 305-442-4000.

La Cena de los Idiotas: Francis Veber's Le Dîne de Cons was released in the United States as The Dinner Game. In its latest incarnation, translated into Spanish by Paco Mir, a group of men takes turns inviting a simpleton to dine with them. The guest's social gracelessness allows the hosts to congratulate themselves on what fine specimens they are by comparison. While the comedic moments have been broadened, they maintain their honesty. The larger-than-life characterizations and Latin cultural references can be embraced and appreciated by a multinational audience. Julio Kaufmann skillfully directs. -- CR Through May 9. Venevision International Theater, Riviera Plaza, 1560 S. Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables. 305-663-5410.

Trembling Hands: How far will one friend go for another? In Ivonne Azurdia's grotesque, funny crime drama now in its world premiere by the Mad Cat Theatre Company, the answer is very, very far indeed. Following up on her splendid Tin Box Boomerang, a hit for Mad Cat last season, Azurdia again spins a tale of loyalty, menace, and money woes, this time among three Miami medical-school students whose quest to come up with quick cash leads them into a ghastly scheme that goes haywire. Filled with film noir references and pungent humor, Trembling Hands is another high-energy entertainment from the Mad Cat crew. -- RM Through May 1. The Light Box, 3000 Biscayne Blvd. 305-576-6377.

White People:The deeply buried racial prejudice in white America is the subject of J.T. Rogers's series of poetic monologues, a powerful, disturbing theatrical event. Tracking three characters -- a bitter blue-collar woman, a bewildered New York professor, and a hard-driving attorney -- Rogers hammers home his thematic points relentlessly in this intermissionless show. Rafael de Acha's production features a solid acting ensemble, with Bruce Miller a standout as the attorney who's aghast when his estranged teen son commits a dreadful racial hate crime. -- RM Through May 16. New Theatre, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables. 305-443-5909.

 
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