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Desperate Characters

Long Stay Cut Short features gripping stagings of two little-known, heartbreaking Tennessee Williams one-acts. In “The Unsatisfactory Supper,” crass but caring Baby Doll (Jolene Adams) and her irritable husband, Archie Lee (Grady Lee Richmond), finally tell their doting Aunt Rose (Eve Sigall) that, despite having nowhere else to go, she has overstayed her welcome with them. In “Hello From Bertha,” an aging, alcoholic — and probably mentally deranged — prostitute (Kara Pulcino) resists being thrown out of her brothel by the sympathetic but practical madame (Josie DiVincenzo). Despite some self-conscious blocking, uncertain pauses and a few distracting improv moments, Jack Heller’s direction elegantly draws into stark relief the frantic and desperate delusions of Williams’ two very different heroines. Each struggles with her own obsolescence and loneliness, one by surrendering herself with open arms to the cold and bitter world, and one by recoiling from it entirely. It’s a nice contrast, and one that illuminates unique complexities in the playwright’s repertoire of tragic women.
Wednesdays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Aug. 27. Continues through Sept. 21, 2008

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