Funeral Wedding: The Alvin Plays Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 18 2012

In a sort of ongoing tribute to the aesthetics of Edward Gorey, the Strange Tree Group specializes in gothic-style tales presented with a postmodern wink. Here the company revives a play by Emily Schwartz, first produced in 2006, about a lurid murder and a supremely unhappy family. The titular, traumatized Alvin took to his attic bedroom a year ago, after two young sisters were beaten and stabbed to death in the neighborhood. He's been content to make paper flowers and hallucinate a mandolin-playing confidant since then, but his refuge is threatened by the engagement of his beloved (and I mean, beloved) sister to a suspicious doctor. There's a lot of charm to Jess McLeod's staging, but also a disappointing vagueness. The play concentrates so hard on flourishes that it lets rudimentary narrative elements slip. That includes the ending, which is ambiguous to a fault. —Tony Adler

Price: $15-$25

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