David Hemphill (left), Nick Duckart, Gregg Weiner, and Deborah L. Sherman
By Beau Willimon. Directed by Joseph Adler. With Nick Duckart, Betsy Graver, David Hemphill, Deborah L. Sherman, David Sirois, Robert Strain, and Gregg Weiner. Through January 24. GableStage at the Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 305-445-1119; gablestage.com
Joseph Adler directs his cast with feeling and anger. In most scenes, they spit their lines at each other with a ferocity that would seem out of place if they were having the same conversations under saner conditions. Deborah Sherman's Ida Horowicz is a shark with legs, and Nick Duckart's Stephen is the ugliest and most damaged creation to jangle across this stage all year. He's only 25 and already a wreck. Completely out of touch with social niceties and even the basic precepts of common decency, he abuses women and underlings with equally thoughtless felicity. He barely even seems conscious, staring out at the incomprehensible world with mean, crazy eyes that scan a room a dozen times a second. It's not that his sins against propriety don't bother him; it's that they don't matter. They have nothing to do with winning.