Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet is billed as a “comedy about human suffering” — an ostensible paradox that showcases the playwright’s propensity to find wit and warmth even in the blackest of circumstances. GableStage (1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables) will close its season with the Southeast premiere of this 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist, and it sounds like a more profound and illuminating work than Karam’s last piece to reach GableStage, Speech and Debate.
Named for the characters’ distant relation to Kahlil Gibran, the best-selling Lebanese poet known for his book The Prophet, Sons of the Prophet is set in Nazareth. Not that Nazareth — this one is a borough in Pennsylvania, where two young men in a Lebanese-American family are flummoxed by the death of their father, who was killed in a prank accident by the town’s football star. Throw in a reporter, a book packager hoping to re-emerge into the publishing world, clever cultural references, and a gay relationship, and you have just a few of the angles explored in the surprisingly comic aftermath of a tragedy. Walking the thin line between pain and mirth will be eight actors, many of them unfamiliar to South Florida theatergoers, under the direction by Joseph Adler.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Sept. 21. Continues through Oct. 18, 2013