Maria/Stuart

What will audiences make of a play that tries to fit comic-book superheroes, handless train-wreck victims, and changelings into a story that’s supposedly modeled scene-for-scene on a German romantic tragedy written in 1800 revolving around Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots? Hard to say. I found it frustrating, engaging, fascinating, and the very kind of thing that keeps live theater a viable art form. Three sisters (Denice Bleha, Lori Stein, and Macall Gordon) are struggling with a family secret that has left one of them nursing an elderly mother, another with a son who daydreams of selling his super hero to a movie studio, and a third who lost a battle with a train and now has prostheses for both hands. Add to of this the strange periodic appearances of The Changeling, who haunts them by speaking in German, gibberish, and a rather eloquent extra-terrestrialese. It's a gloriously disjointed mess of a dramedy, directed by David Gassner. KEVIN PHINNEY

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: May 8. Continues through June 6, 2009

 
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