Current theater: vampire lovers and murderous wives

Two Comedies (The Pattern and The Problem)

By Brian Harris and A.R. Gurney. Through February 19 at Edge Theatre, 4141 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-316-5221. Tickets cost $10-$20.

In a not-so-coincidental kick in the pants of the Twilight series of books and films, The Pattern, written by Brian Harris, tells the tale of a young girl seeking professional advice on her relationship with a man she's met online. And while she has a pattern of attracting weirdos and entering into bad relationships, this one is particularly askew. Her new boyfriend, it turns out, is a vampire. The Problem, written by A.R. Gurney, is a sort of marital exploration of the absurd: A couple traces the exact point at which the woman conceived a child, trying to figure out whether the husband fathered the baby or not. The tale takes several comical, unexpected turns that eventually reveal not-so-normal secrets about this seemingly average couple.

Crimes of the Heart

By Beth Henley. Through February 27 at Main Street Players, 6766 Main St., Miami Lakes; 305-558-3737; mainstreetplayers.com. Tickets cost $18-$20.

Beth Henley's tragic comedy about the Magrath sisters, and the fickle predicament in which each one finds herself, hits Main Street Players. Set in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, sisters Meg, Babe, and Lenny reunite at their grandfather's home after one of them has shot her abusive husband. One sister comes to the reunion with delusions of grandeur about her life and career, while the eldest is about to go nuts on all of them. Meanwhile, their mother has hanged herself and the family cat. Each sister is forced to tell her tale of woe, while facing the inevitable consequences her life has wrought. Ron Torres, Marilyn Gresh, and Nori Tecosky are joined by newcomers Laurel Welch and Betsy Cox.

Zero Hour

By Jim Brochu. Through February 27 at Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St., Aventura; 954-462-0222; aventuracenter.org. Tickets cost $36.

Set in theater legend Zero Mostel's painting studio, Zero Hour chronicles a naive reporter's attempts to interview the famously volatile artist, prompting an explosion of memory, humor, outrage, and juicy backstage lore. Best remembered for his comedic genius in definitive roles such as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Mostel was equally known for his place on the infamous Hollywood blacklist of the '50s. Jim Brochu, who also wrote the play, won a Carbonell Award for his striking portrayal, which brings all of Mostel's swagger, ferocity, intelligence, and fantastic wit back to the stage for a volcanic performance directed by three-time Oscar-nominated film star Piper Laurie.

 
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