Sycamore Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 29 2017

It’s hard to fathom why Raven Theatre, with a three-decade history of picking strong material, would premiere a work that might earn a B minus in freshman playwriting class. Brooklyn-based scribe Sarah Sander tells the expedient tale of middle-American teen siblings Celia and Henry—one recently suicidal, one recently oversexed, both fixedly territorial—who vie for the romantic attentions of mysterious pot-smoking boy-next-door John. Sander wants to reveal profound sexual and emotional angst just beneath the placid surface of suburban life (everyone’s desperate to “escape”), but her unlikely dialogue, shortcut-heavy plotting, and manufactured resolution make most of the 70 minutes ring false. If director Devon de Mayo can’t even get convincing performances out of respected veterans Robyn Coffin and Tom Hickey as the siblings’ distraught parents, the fault lies with the material. —Justin Hayford

Price: $46, $41 seniors and teachers, $22 students

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