Signature Shorts and Undershorts: With Stephen Trovillion, Erin Joy Schmidt, Stephen G. Anthony, David Hemphill, Laura Turnbull, John Manzelli, and Elena Maria Garcia. Through June 21. Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org
"Pass the Salt" is a dinner table conversation between a husband and wife (Trovillion and Garcia) who at first appear totally indifferent to one another, but for whom indifference is revealed to be part of an ongoing and very intense kind of sexual role-playing. They're not truly indifferent — they're merely comfortable with each other — and by the time Trovillion explains he'd like to squirt Garcia's boobies with honey, or Garcia calls Trovillion her "piggy" in the same deadly monotone with which they ask each other to "pass the salt," they have created a vision of domestic bliss that is as sweet and enviable as it is weird.
The acting throughout all of this is sublime. Stephen Trovillion, Erin Joy Schmidt, Laura Turnbull, John Manzelli, Stephen G. Anthony, David Hemphill, and especially Elena Maria Garcia wear so many masks so comfortably that, by the middle of Undershorts, the effort begins to look a little superhuman. The thought and heart they've invested in each of their small characters is shocking, and their dedication is absolutely moving. Look at how much emotion Turnbull injects into a monologue in "Snow" (Signature Shorts), in which she plays a shut-in (and in which she wasn't even supposed to appear; the MIA actress was slated to do the part). Look at the way Garcia uses her body in role after role, sensuously dancing with her lines and using her pneumatic hips to create laughs where none are written and to magnify the ones that are. These are acrobatic, athletic, and aesthetic feats — meaningless and delightful and delirious. You won't find them anywhere else.