Stage Capsules

City Beneath the Sea: The story of a young girl who saves an underwater metropolis from the powers of evil, played out through sparkling marionette sea creatures, is Pablo Cano's ninth marionette production at the Museum of Contemporary Art. This musical production consists of hand-crafted puppets made from cookie cutters, plastic light bulbs, rubber doilies, and cigarette wrappers. City Beneath the Sea is more than meets the eye. In Cano's work, Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades meet Robert Rauschenberg's mixtures of painting and sculpture. Even the sad eyes of Victor Manuel's portraits make an interlude and mingle with the filmmaker Georges Mélis, whose films inspired Cano's set, and of course Cuba is never too far from the Havana-born artist's creations. "My working process is a little different than some artists," Cano says. "I usually go to different Cuban restaurants that have paper place mats and draw characters while waiting for dinner with my family." — Vanessa Garcia Through December 23. Tickets cost $3-$16; seating is limited. MoCA, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; 305-893-6211;

Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love: Brad Fraser's play is about seven folks searching for love in Edmonton, Alberta. Some are gay, some are straight, and one of them might be a serial killer. The plot is strictly B movie, but don't let it fool you: This story is told with such frenetic glee and panache that form quickly overtakes function; indeed form pummels function into bleeding submission within the play's first five minutes, and all spectators present must count themselves lucky to have witnessed it. The action moves quickly, from location to location and scene to scene too quickly to follow. Some scenes run concurrently; monologues overtake one another and coalesce. The whole while, images of hideous violence and extremely hot sex converge till they're virtually indistinguishable. — Brandon K. Thorp Through December 30. The Sol Theatre Project, 1140 N. Flagler Dr., Fort Lauderdale; 954-525-6555,

Rabbit Hole: When it premiered on Broadway last winter, David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole quickly established its reputation as The Gloomiest Play in Town. Abandoning his semiabsurdist tendencies, Lindsay-Abaire had crafted an uncannily believable story about a family mourning the death of a four-year-old son. Communicating more in silences and furtive glances than in words, the cast of the Mosaic Theatre now brings that story to life with an austerity that traces the shape of grief more deftly than histrionics and bombast ever could. When the façade cracks, the dark and chaotic emotions that swirl beneath the script's cool surface burst screaming into the open; those few moments imbue the quiet, measured performances of the rest of the play with an authority that would be unbearably sad, if it weren't all so transcendentally virtuosic. — Brandon K. Thorp Through December 23. Mosaic Theatre, American Heritage Center for the Arts, 12200 W. Broward Blvd., No. 3121, Plantation; 954-577-8243,

Hatchetman: The world-premiere production of David Wiltse’s Hatchetman has not been universally well received by the antediluvian snoots filling seats at Florida Stage, but that might have less to do with the quality of the play than with the script’s offhand dismissal of its ostensible subject matter: golf. Set in the office of a struggling independent golf magazine (called Putts!), Hatchetman plays like the world’s fastest, smartest sitcom, juggling dual plotlines about sex and corporate takeovers at a speed so willfully hyperaccelerated it soon becomes impossible to tell one story line from the other. The only sour note comes near the end, during an extended mistaken-identity scene that gets stale before delivering its payoff. It’s the only draggy moment in the most consistently fun play currently showing in the three counties. — Brandon K. Thorp Through January 14. Florida Stage, Plaza del Mar, 262 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; 561-585-3433,

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Vanessa Garcia
Brandon K. Thorp