Current Stage Shows

 Raised in Captivity: From Nicky Silver's deliciously twisted mind comes this black comedy of love, loneliness and loss, and also killer shower massages, disturbed siblings, psychotic, self-mutilating psychologists, and a redneck death-row inmate whose Muslim name is Ruth. Don't ask. Just don't miss this lively production by The Baby Factor, a hot new actor's collective, which boasts a powerhouse performance by Kenneth Thompson and an energetic young cast. -- Octavio Roca Through Aug. 29. PS 742, 1165 SW Sixth St, Miami. 561-251-1070.

Heaven Help Us! The Swingin' New Rat Pack Musical: This toe-tapping world premiere about God sending the Rat Pack back to Vegas to help a suicidal lounge owner is stylishly presented, with the terrific cast belting out some great tunes. Some 29 hits pop up in the show, ranging from brief refrains to full-blown song-and-dance numbers. Co-creator Ray Roderick's snappy direction and choreography and a fine onstage jazz combo also sparkle. But the performance and production strengths only emphasize the weaknesses of the script: Heaven's creative team needs to get back in the kitchen. -- Ronald Mangravite Through September 5. Florida Stage, 262 S. Ocean Blvd, Manalapan. 561-585-3433.

Trumbo: He was called "fascinating, abrasive, wise, vain, ruthless, tenderhearted, indefatigable, and contentious." Such was the impact of Dalton Trumbo, the famed screenwriter and raconteur whose principled struggle with the McCarthy Era witch hunt is at the heart of this play by his son Christopher. As theater, Trumbo's travails have solid dramatic potential but it is his copious letter writing and his penchant for pungent, often hilarious commentary that make him a prime candidate for a stage project. The two-man show tracks the reminiscences of Christopher alternating with his father's raucous, passionate letters to an array of friends and foes. -- Ronald Mangravite Through Sept 12. Gablestage 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables. 305 445-1119.

The Water Coolers: Looking for a little something to while away a hot summer night? This refreshing, fast-paced musical revue about life in the corporate world is graced with an exceptionally gifted cast and stylish, inventive staging from Playhouse director David Arisco and his choreographer Barbara Flaten. Cole Porter it's not (the jokes and the music are rather bland), but the show's upbeat charm and five terrific performers make for sparkling entertainment that goes down as cool and easy as a summer cocktail. -- Ronald Mangravite Through September 5. Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. 305-444-9293 or www.actorsplayhouse.org.

 
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