SAT 5/28Phil Marraccini isn't a playwright by trade. He spends his days tending to the family business, a tropical fish farm that has been going strong for 55 years. Marraccini devotes his free time to honing his play. Poor Lenny is a dramatic comedy about four bowling buddies who find their friendship challenged. In addition to financing the project, Marraccini is working hard to bring his vision to the stage. "I'm doing the props and the promotion, and I'm the understudy for every part besides the female roles, so I'll probably wind up onstage," he chuckles. The cast is a dedicated group of regular folks with the kind of "let's put on a show!" moxie displayed in Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland musicals. "As long as everybody has a good time, we're going to continue doing it," says Marraccini. There's nothing fishy about that. Catch the premiere tonight at 8:00 at South Dade Senior High School, 28401 SW 167th Ave., Homestead. Tickets cost $12 in advance; $15 at the door. Call 305-905-2284 or 305-258-2999. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
A Commie of Errors
With friends like these ...
FRI 5/27Miami might not seem a good place to produce a play in which the protagonists are communists, especially when it's supposed to be a successful fundraiser for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, but like most things South Floridian, contradictions are key. In A Bad Friend -- noted political cartoonist Jules Feiffer's coming-of-ideological-age play set against the backdrop of the McCarthyite Fifties -- the Wallach family has more to deal with than just a modern witch-hunt. What appears at first to be a fairly pedestrian look at the era reveals a more complicated setting of betrayal and disappointment among family and friends. Through June 26 at GableStage, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Tickets cost $50 for tonight's sneak preview, which includes a wine and cheese reception at 6:30. Call 305-576-2337, Ext. 13, or visit www.aclufl.org. --Margaret Griffis
Rhymin' and Scene Stealin'
THUR 5/26Mother Goose it's not. Liza Nepa has cross-pollinated poetry and theater to create Life Told in Rhyme. Expect major social consciousness, humor, and sexuality at the new Miami Globo Theatre (1036 SW Eighth St., Miami) tonight. "The journey is funny and confrontational and will make [the audience] blush," says Nepa. "We have a man, a woman, and a lesbian." Nepa describes her lesbian character Love Child as "the poet who walks around in a daze." Get wrapped up in the words of Rachel Sinley and Yusuf Malik Shabazz, a.k.a. Profet (who is a champion slam performer), and the music of DJ Carmello Almodovar, whose musical transitions run from John Lennon to 50 Cent. The rhymes start flying at 8:00. Tickets cost $25. Call 305-891-7416. -- Karen Dale Wolman