John and Jen Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 4 2009

A pair of Baby Boomer siblings weather their abusive father and have predictably divergent reactions to the 1960s, in this two-actor musical by Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald. Jen (McKinley Carter) becomes a hippie at college; John (Jon Cunningham) enlists in the Navy and dies in Vietnam. The latter catastrophe makes Jen an overprotective mother in act two, determined not to lose her son (Cunningham again) as she lost her brother. A story this warmed-over requires some fresh element, but neither Lippa's nondescript score nor Greenwald's prosaic lyrics can provide it. With its Astroturf set and capable but bland performances, Rachel Rockwell's production doesn't enliven the material either. --Zac Thompson

Price: $38-$48

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