Intiman Theatre Festival

Of the three repertory titles being presented, I loved Dirty Story and Romeo & Juliet. Hedda Gabler felt tedious, but it still has interesting aspects worth seeing. (Sorry, Dan Savage, but I didn't have time for your new Miracle!.) The pleasure here is a company of artists working together intimately in several shows, so we get to see their mastery in multiple roles. One night you have the absurdly talented Quinn Franzen as a fat American cowboy in John Patrick Shanley's Dirty Story. The next, he's the lovelorn swain of Verona. Director Allison Narver sets her Romeo in a fecund, overpopulated, favela-like world. It's a teeming cauldron of life that plausibly reflect an urbanizing planet. Starring the always interesting Marya Sea Kaminski as its tragic heroine, Andrew Russell's Hedda Gabler lacks the current relevance Narver has found for her Romeo. Shanley's 2003 political comedy Dirty Story needs less doctoring to be contemporary, so director Valerie Curtis-Newton hews closely to the ingenious original script. Shawn Law and Carol Roscoe play a couple from geopolitical Hell, bound together a bare-studs apartment that becomes ever more cramped. Amplifying the razor-sharp allegory are Franzen and Allen Fitzpatrick as American and British caricatures, respectively; each has a stake in the domestic quarrel, for reasons gradually guessed. This two-act is so hilarious I'm going back to see it again. MARGARET FRIEDMAN [See Margaret's full review.]

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: July 5. Continues through Aug. 26, 2012

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