Disappearing Acts: Stories by Nikolai Gogol Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 31 2009

Adapter-director Stephen Fedo bats .500 in this Piven Theatre Workshop staging of Nikolai Gogol's two most famous short stories. Fedo's farcical take on "The Nose"--about a vain, low-level civil servant whose nose goes missing and then wanders about Saint Petersburg dressed as a higher-ranking clerk--turns Gogol's droll absurdity into ham-handed shtick. But with "The Overcoat," in which a government copyist's featureless life becomes edenic after he buys a new topcoat, Fedo uses a more understated approach to capture the subtleties that give Gogol's work its rich pathos and humor. The uneven cast often struggle to maintain an adequate pace, but Brooks Darrah's performance as the copyist is graceful and poignant despite occasional lapses into excessive self-pity. --Justin Hayford

Price: $5-$25

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