The Feats of Strength: Six New Plays for Surviving the Holidays Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through Dec. 19 2009

Emma Stanton's Where Did Everybody Go? epitomizes the impudent, dyspeptic tone this showcase of holiday one-acts aspires to. A hyperbolically dysfunctional family's "nice Thanksgiving dinner" collapses under the strain of a micromanaging mother who obsesses over the flatware placement, her daughter's past boyfriends' bad teeth, and "the Jews." Meanwhile, a seven-year-old wanders around in the basement and pokes his eyes out on dad's spear collection. Director Miguel Nunez's cast play the mayhem straight, resulting in a taut, farcical delight. The other five scripts in this 90-minute evening from Dramatis Personae are largely undisciplined, failing to establish consistent tones and tossing satiric barbs in scattershot fashion at obvious targets. Generally sluggish pacing further quashes the comedy. --Justin Hayford

Price: $15

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