Angels Fall

In Lanford Wilson's rarely performed 1982 play, two May/October couples are stranded at a tiny New Mexico parish during a nearby nuclear accident. Ailing art-history professor Niles Harris (the decorously-poised-until-he's-not Todd Jefferson Moore) and his much younger wife Vita. As Vita, Alyson Scadron Branner seems stilted and nervous at first. Middle-aged socialite Marion Clay (Teri Lazzara) and her phobic young tennis-star boytoy Zappy (Jason Sharp) are clenched in a weirdly maternal/filial dynamic. All have their stories to tell, but Rob Burgess as the neurotically upbeat Father Doherty gives the performance of the evening. This is pretty conventional middlebrow fare, marbled with humor, yet plot drift and narrative flab notwithstanding, the acting is a pleasure to watch. The three older characters—Niles, Marion, and Father D—feel like complex, fully formed beings with whom being stuck in an elevator (or snowbound, or taken hostage) might actually be a rewarding experience. MARGARET FRIEDMAN

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: June 3. Continues through June 26, 2010

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