The Whale Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 5 2013

Samuel D. Hunter has spent a lot of time around university writing programs, and it tells, for better and for worse, in his work. This 2012 drama, for instance, often seems to be as much about its artfully wrought metaphors as it is about its central character—a 600-pound Idaho couch potato named Charlie, who's well on his way to eating himself to death. Still, those metaphors are pretty admirably constructed. Together with Hunter's empathic dialogue and bittersweet sense of humor, they help make The Whale a thing of unexpected delicacy, considering the subject matter. And Dale Calandra's performance as Charlie helps make Joanie Schultz's production heartbreaking. All but immobilized in a convincing fat suit created by costume designer Janice Pytel, Calandra confronts a formidable acting challenge and makes a meal of it. —Tony Adler

Price: $35-$50

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