A Number Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 11 2012

Caryl Churchill'[s one-act is frequently misunderstood as a cautionary fable about cloning. But that's just a conceit she tosses to the dog as she burgles the old dysfunctional-family manse. The real issue is how we try to erase loved ones who remind us of unbearable pain. After his wife's death, Salter (a finely calibrated Patrick Blashill) not only sent away his son, Bernard, but commissioned a more perfect clone of him. Now Salter is confronted by both the original and the copy—and learns that a "mad scientist" has made around 20 other clone Bernards. The conflicts between Salter and the Bernards (played with insufficient variation by Tony Bozzuto) have the potential to generate gut-wrenching insights, but director Karen Kessler tends to pull her punches in this Backstage Theatre production. —Kerry Reid

Price: $10-$25

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