First Words Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 28 2010

For a play that's "not about autism," Aaron Carter's First Words offers an awful lot of didactic asides and explanatory dialogue about the disorder. It seems, at first, that the plot--about an African-American couple trying a new therapy for their autistic son--is just a lumbering palanquin for the dreaded Issue Play. Then, without warning, something very different happens. Chuck Smith's tightly directed cast lands in a searing bind with devastating implications. If only the last 20 minutes had been the first, I could've enjoyed the powerful talents in this MPAACT production for the whole evening, rather than getting rewarded with them at the end, as a treat for being patient. --Keith Griffith

Price: $15-$23 (opening night $30)

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