See this week's full theater review, "Off the Cliff."
By David Mamet. Through September 13. GableStage at the Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 305-445-1119; gablestage.com
David Mamet's '80s masterpiece follows two moral burnouts and a hapless temp through 24 hours of scheming, hope, and sex, as a film producer makes a last-ditch attempt to flee the rampant cynicism of Hollywood — and then thinks better of it. Smart, mean performances by Paul Tei and especially Gregg Weiner as coked-out and desperate studio execs will make you tremble and giggle at the same time. Decay and degradation have never been more fun than under Joe Adler's whip-quick direction.
This is Shakespeare's "traditional values" play, in which he bravely comes out in full-bore support of good Christian family structures and conservative social values. The message, more or less, is this: Independent women must be tamed, and the best way to do it is by torture. Sleep deprivation should be considered, as well as food deprivation. If that fails, tear up the bitches' clothes. Incidentally, The Taming of the Shrew was the inspiration for Kiss Me Kate, by famed trad-fam-values proponent Cole Porter.