Port Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 26 2011

The gritty Manchester borough of Stockport forms the backdrop for Simon Stephens's 2002 play, which follows working-class Rachel Keats from a childhood spent with her alcoholic father through her marriage to a similarly afflicted man. Caroline Neff disarms as Rachel, playing the bratty preteen, cautious adolescent, and battered wife with equal depth. The rest of Jonathan Berry's cast find nuance in a script full of raw characters and harsh vernacular. As well as this Griffin Theatre Company production comes off, though, the double-time march of Stephens's 14-year plot arc feels more mechanical than epic, arriving at its predictably nostalgic and hopeful conclusion like a cable car being hauled to the terminal. --Keith Griffith

Price: $22-$32

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