Brooklyn Boy: A writer from a fabled neverland called Brooklyn finally makes it big just as his personal life begins to fall apart. Donald Margulies's bittersweet and not particularly satisfying comedy is so obviously personal that it feels unseemly to complain. Still, there is precious originality in the playwright's treatment of familiar themes: This is ground well trodden by many, from Herb Gardner (author of Conversations with My Father, to whom Brooklyn Boy is dedicated) to Margulies himself. The action alternates between New York and Los Angeles, without a single surprise. Bruce Miller gives a single-note performance in the central role of the suddenly successful author. Joseph Adler's direction is otherwise swift, and there is a scene-stealing gem of an acting turn by Michael H. Small as a shlumpy friend left behind. No matter, the script still feels like a retread. Octavio Roca Through November 20. GableStage at the Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 305-445-1119.
Grease: When Grease first slid onto a Broadway stage in 1971, the general public had never even heard of a VHS recorder. Times have changed dramatically over the course of the three decades since, but judging by the throngs of hopelessly devoted fans bebopping into the Actor's Playhouse, the musical's popularity hasn't. Set in a high school in the Fifties, this familiar play might be an odd season opener, but it's an entertaining, karaoke-spirit-invoking crowd pleaser. The 1978 film version of this pop cultural phenomenon generated one of the best-selling soundtracks in history a copy of which everyone in the audience seemed not only to own but also to have memorized. As Doody, Brian M. Golub belted out breathtaking vocals meeting nothing but feverish applause. The stiff and uninspiring lead characters, on the other hand, could have used more inspiration. Joanne Green Through November 13. Actor's Playhouse, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-444-9293.
Lost Tango: This finely crafted play comprises 90 minutes of uninterrupted dramatic action that reaffirms Miami's own Mario Diament as one of the industry's most talented playwrights. In the style of a classic detective flick, Argentine-born Diament intertwines thought-provoking dialogue with unexpected plot twists that crescendo in a darkly humorous and suspenseful climax. While staying in a once-glamorous Miami hotel, a reclusive former movie siren who mysteriously abandoned the screen at the height of her career twenty years earlier receives a clumsy young journalist for a rare interview. What ensues is a polished performance by the veteran acting duo of Euriamis Losada and Barbara Sloan. Joanne Green Through November 20. New Theatre, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables; 305-443-5909.
For a complete listing of current stage shows, click on Culture in the navigation bar to the left, scroll down to the Listings Search Category pulldown, and select Stage.
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