Side Man Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 24 2015

If you spend enough time watching artists perform, you know how many exceptional talents live and die in obscurity. Gene is a great example. A jazz trumpeter's jazz trumpeter, he not only misses the breaks but actively resists them when necessary. Rather than follow the money to Las Vegas or LA as the rise of rock 'n' roll wrecks the market for his art in New York, he hangs on with his equally insouciant buddies, obsessively blowing little masterpieces fewer and fewer people hear. Meanwhile, his wife, Terry, self-medicates; his son, Cliff, seethes. Warren Leight's 1998 drama is an engrossing, quirky look at people who love something what can't love them back. It's compromised in Jonathan Berry's American Blues Theater staging, however, by unconvincing performances. Kate Buddeke, in particular, never summons the crazy energy that makes Terry so attractive at first and so scary down the road. On the other hand, Joe Foust shines darkly as a musician who gives everything for his own love, heroin. —Tony Adler

Price: $19-$49

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