Exits and Entrances: When Athol Fugard is in town, he has the well-earned ability to suck the air out of any other plays competing with him on any given night. This snapshot of the mid-twentieth-century crossroads of change in South Africa is no exception. Although the playwright-icon isn't here in body, his spirit shines through in this grand autobiographical hark back to his rising to fame. Five different plays reside in the unwrapping onion of Exits and Entrances: the comic romp of opposites with exquisite timing; a dialogue about the fundamental role of theater in society; an exploration of the kind of mentoring relationships we all recognize in our own memories of talented teachers; a meditation on what a life is worth; a fretful exploration of South Africa's evolution into a deep, dark place; and, finally, joyful insight into Fugard's own backstory. Okay, so that's actually six different plays an entire season of theater crammed into one two-hour show. Dave Amber Through January 15. Florida Stage, 262 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; 561-585-3433.
Ladies and Not-So-Gentle Women: New Theatre's Ladies and Not-So-Gentle Women could be considered a Victorian-era Sex and the City. But the four New York women at the center of Alfred Allan Lewis's memory play are not your average singletons. These ladies are the crme de la femme of high society, pioneers of new female roles and careers at the turn of the century. This world-premiere play presents a vivid picture of society during the era in which Elizabeth Marbury became one of the most powerful women in American theater. Lewis demonstrates how this controversial figure opened the door for women worldwide to legitimately earn as much as their male counterparts. The cast of six gives a lyrically scorching and solid performance, but the fleeting glimpses into their pampered lives fail to arouse emotional reaction. By the time the lead character settles into her wheelchair to await death, there won't be a teary eye in the house. Joanne Green Through December 31. New Theatre, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables; 305-443-5909.
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