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Home / Articles / Arts / Theater /  Show and tell
. . . .
Wednesday, Jan 05, 2011

Show and tell

The Maiden’s Prayer and the rest of this week's theater

By Martin Jones Westlin
1-5 thr image Cynthia and Taylor (Samantha Ginn and Jason Perkins) have no idea what's in store for their marriage, let alone for each other.
- Photo by Rich Soublet
The tree on the set of Triad Productions’ current The Maiden’s Prayer isn’t just any stinky ol’ tree. It’s a character, quietly presiding over the manipulative Cynthia’s miscarriage, her dullard husband Taylor’s relapse into booze, her hooker sister Libby’s crippling jealousy over their marriage and their befuddled gay friend Paul’s quirky encounters. It’s also a metaphor for the principals’ search for lasting romantic love and normal lives—clearly, they’re barking up the wrong one.

Playwright Nicky Silver has a knack for finding humor in his melancholy, multi-pronged story (catch the very funny James Darvas as a giddy boy-toy and the hissy-fit he throws after a flap with one of his tricks), and director Adam Parker has fleshed out as many of the characters’ traits as he can expect (Samantha Ginn and Nathan Caracter are on all cylinders as Cynthia and Paul, and Rhianna Basore does well with the sulking, one-dimensional Libby).

But there’s a difference between telling a story through dialogue and showing it through anecdote and illustration, and Silver doesn’t seem to know which approach is appropriate, let alone when (this is especially evident with Taylor, although actor Jason Perkins gives the character his best shot). Triad is an earnest young troupe, and I recommend its latest play, but not necessarily with hearts and flowers.

Through Jan. 23 at Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights. $20-$25. triadprod.com

Opening

Extremities: The tables turn on a would-be rapist, now trapped in his victim’s home. Opens Jan. 7 at On- Stage Playhouse in Chula Vista. $14- $16. onstageplayhouse.org

Harriet Tubman, Second Moses: Tubman risks her life many times over as the conductor of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Opens Jan. 7 at Community Actors Theatre in City Heights. $6. communityactorstheatre.com

The Miracle Worker: Against unimaginable odds, Annie Sullivan fuels communication with blind, deaf and mute Helen Keller. Produced by San Diego Junior Theatre, it opens Jan. 7 at Casa del Prado Theatre in Balboa Park. $8-$14. juniortheatre.com

Now Playing

West Side Story: Ill-fated teen lovers Tony and Maria meet with tragedy as two rival New York street gangs jockey for position. Produced by Broadway / San Diego, it runs through Jan. 9 at the Civic Theatre, Downtown. $31.50-$104.50. broadwaysd.com

Shotgun Wedding Anniversary: What happens after 25 years in a less-than-blissful marriage? For Basil and Petals, it can mean murder. Through Feb. 26 at Mystery Cafe, in the Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill. $59.50, including dinner. mysterycafe.net




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