Current Stage Shows

Our critics weigh in on the local theater

Master Harold ... and the boys: Athol Fugard's modern classic has to do with the stormy relationship between a white teen and two black family workers in South Africa circa 1950. The fine GableStage production features assured, understated direction from Joseph Adler, which is well supported by some excellent, evocative production design. Paul Bodie and Rodney Gardiner do very well as the workers, finding humor and dignity in ordinary lives, but John Bixler's strident performance as the teenage title role misses much of the character's poignancy. --RM Presented through May 23 by GableStage at the Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. 305-445-1119 or www.gablestage.org.

The Dining Room: A.R. Gurney's dissection of upper-crust WASP life is given a fine production by director Bruce Lecure and a nimble acting ensemble of six playing 57 roles in a series of interconnected playlets. The production is graced by gentle humor and poignancy but the energy tends to drag at times, and Gurney's writing, as proper and refined as his characters, seems to avoid deep emotions, which when they do crop up are quickly passed over. The result is something like the furniture that dominates the set -- stately, refined, but a bit faded. -- RM Through May 23. Caldwell Theatre Company, 7873 Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. 561-241-7432 or 877-245-7432.

The Gulf of Westchester: Deborah Zoe Laufer's biting satire about the war in Iraq hurtles along with such passion and intensity it's breathtaking. Laufer doesn't get the gold at the finish line -- she cartwheels out of control well before that -- but her reckless bravado makes for the kind of agitprop, bare-knuckle theater that rarely makes an appearance on contemporary stages. Laufer's go-for-the-throat antiwar stance doesn't offer any new ideas, but Louis Tyrrell's flawless staging and inventive use of video sequences makes for an intriguing production. The outstanding cast features Kim Ostrenko as an icy pro-Bush housewife and Stephen G. Anthony as her back-slapping husband. -- RM Through June 13. Florida Stage, 262 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan. 800-514-3837.

No Exit:Reviewed in this issue. By Jean-Paul Sartre, directed by J. Barry Lewis. With Nanique Gheridian, William Hayes, Margery Lowe, and Shel Shanak. Presented through May 23 by the Palm Beach Dramaworks, 322 Banyan Blvd, West Palm Beach; 561-625-6010 or www.palmbeachdramaworks.org

 
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