Sin Full Heaven: The third installment of Ricky J. Martinez's Island Trilogy is a good example of everything that can go wrong with homegrown, indie theater. The writing is a mess of clichés and hideously tortured sentence structures (Q: "Haven't you kissed women before?" A: "Never the lips of an angel." And "There will be no rock left on this island undisturbed for these traitors to hide under."). The plot is absurd, calling for constant histrionics so operatically overblown you'll wonder if the whole thing isn't some ill-advised genre parody. And the show's underlying philosophy betrays the writer's contempt for island-dwelling folks, whom he plainly regards as beatifically, innocently simple-minded. Brandon K. Thorp Through February 11. New Theatre, the Burstein Family Stage, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables; 305-443-5909, www.new-theatre.org.
Kiss of the Spider Woman: After two disappointing shows, the Public Theatre of South Florida comes roaring back to form with Manuel Puig's gay prison dialectic. In the middle of la guerra sucia, Argentina's "Dirty War," two prisoners try to keep themselves sane by arguing, telling stories, and, in the end, loving each other. The chameleonic Michael McKeever plays the convicted homosexual Molina with a wilting, yielding grace that is simply beautiful, and David Perez-Ribada imbues the convicted Marxist revolutionary Valentin with enough jittery ill temper to reveal his extremism as the shuck it is a retreat from real life. The love scene in which he finally drops his pretensions is one of the most gut-twistingly sweet moments captured by any Florida stage in the past year. Brandon K. Thorp Through February 4. Public Theatre of South Florida, the Soref Jewish Community Center, 6501 W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation, 954-427-0784, www.publictheatre.com.
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