In Catherine Trieschmann’s 2004 London and off-Broadway crowd-pleaser, the small world of a slightly deformed girl, her mother, and her new best friend feels mythically large, despite playing out on a tiny stage arranged in the round like an arena for schoolyard taunts. Laney (Miriah Caine Ware), a precocious 14-year-old living with her newly divorced mother in a small Mississippi town, suffers social alienation and befriends—through lack of more appropriate options—Maribel (Zoey Cane Belyea), a goodhearted but intellectually slow Christian zealot two years her senior. Laney’s mother, Elise (Jená Cane), doesn’t like this odd relationship and makes the mistake of saying so. In response, eager to shock, Laney announces herself a born-again “holiness lesbian:” She gets to be saved, which pleases her devoted friend, but she also gets to mock poor Maribel’s piety. At two hours, Crooked feels a little longer than it needs to, though the lovely acting keeps it enjoyable. And Trieschmann’s almost always fresh dialogue fosters offbeat blooms of beauty and ugliness amid the banalities of suburban life. MARGARET FRIEDMAN (See Margaret's full review.)

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 13. Continues through Feb. 12, 2011

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