Iron Curtain

An off-Broadway favorite that debuted in 2006, Iron Curtain is a good deal flimsier than iron, but undeniable fun. This small, ensemble production, ably directed by Steve Tomkins, reduces the Cold War to love songs, silly gags, and the gentlest of culture clashes. Kidnapped in the mid-’50s and ordered to write a musical for Khrushchev’s Minister of Musical Persuasion (a dandyish Nick DeSantis), Broadway stage tyros Murray (Jared Michael Brown) and Howard (Matt Wolfe) are soon composing capitalist-bashing ditties at gunpoint in a cement cellblock. Both men have love interests, including, for Howard, a slender chorine (lithe firecracker Danielle Barnum), who sings an agricultural number called “I’m Threshing for You.” Masha’s last name is Haylukmikova, later changed to Partysova. If you don’t enjoy such puns and wordplay, stay away, comrade. Iron Curtain is an exuberantly punny, groaner-filled musical that makes light of the era of nukes poised for mutual assured destruction between East and West. Good luck to those who, in another 50 years, try to do the same with our current headlines. MARGARET FRIEDMAN

Tuesdays-Sundays; April 29-May 22. Starts: March 16. Continues through April 24, 2011

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