Burke is trotted out of the den from time to time to give his version of this argument, but not often enough. These scenes seem almost tacked on — interruptions in the play's otherwise smooth froth of tears and saccharine — and they are certainly underthought. I've enjoyed more interesting and nuanced conversations about the right to an attorney with teenagers.

Gordon McConnell and Terry Hardcastle in Unreasonable Doubt.
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Gordon McConnell and Terry Hardcastle in Unreasonable Doubt.

Details

Unreasonable Doubt: By Michael McKeever. Directed by David Arisco. Through June 6. Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; actorsplayhouse.org.

So, more thought, please, and less mommy. More anger and less bleating. As it is, by play's end, McConnell is reduced to delivering lines such as "She'll never laugh again!" while crying into his cupped hands. Sure, a grieving parent might say such a thing, but why should we watch it? Onstage personas should be a bit more illuminating, or at least less bathetic. And if they must revel in bathos, is it too much to ask that they break a few ribs while they do it?

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