A sampler of David Mamet's signature themes—race, class, and gender frictions—1982's Edmond is a lean one-act fugue about a man who, in his search for authentic connection, gets conned, fleeced, beaten up, humiliated, and otherwise rebuffed by most of the people he meets. Sam Hagen, in the title role, is the perfect straight man with a loosening screw. As his encounters with the city's underbelly get increasingly bizarre, he is like an understated alien trying to master the conventions of a different planet. People like to classify this play as being about race or madness or alienation or latent homosexuality, but to its credit Balagan offers the most open, most encompassing reading possible. MARGARET FRIEDMAN

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Jan. 21. Continues through Feb. 6, 2010

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