Madagascar: In a hotel room overlooking the Spanish Steps in Rome, a lovely young woman dressed in pajamas sits on a bed and proclaims there is no such thing as coincidence. An elegant older woman emerges from the shadows in a timeless faux Chanel suit. She's oblivious to the girl on the bed yet very much at home in the room and familiar with the loneliness implied therein. A third character, a man, eventually finds himself there too. His relationship to the two women or the two absent men in their lives is, at first, anything but clear. Only one thing is certain: Someone has disappeared, perhaps forever, perhaps having fled to an exotic place like Madagascar. We may never know, but the magic and mystery of J.T. Rogers's witty, literate new play will linger and fascinate long after the curtain falls. It's directed with a fine-tuned ear for subtle mood shifts and mercurial changes of speed by Ricky J. Martinez, and stars Kathryn Lee Johnston, Angie Radosh, and Bill Schwartz. -- Octavio Roca Through October 9. New Theatre, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables; 305-443-5909.
New Theatre Cares: It would be tough to find a worthier cause -- or a more promising evening of theater this season -- than this special benefit for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, organized in haste by New Theatre artists and staff. The fare is rich, from Shakespeare to Jule Styne, with hits from recent seasons reprised alongside previews of future productions. Where else can you catch Madagascar director Ricky J. Martinez as Shakespeare's Oberon in the lovely "Fare thee well ... I know a bank" speech? Or artistic director Rafael de Acha reminding us that "All the world's a stage"? A minimum tax-deductible donation of $50 is suggested. -- Octavio Roca Presented one night only, September 27, at 8:00 p.m. New Theatre, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables; 305-443-5909.
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