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The week’s other openings
<em>The Friendly Hour; Romeo and Juliet; Beast</em><strong> </strong>
L

os Angeles
The Friendly Hour
Lankershim Arts Center, (866) 811-4111
Tom Jacobson’s homage to life in rural South Dakota plays like “The View meets Laura Ingalls Wilder,” said Charlotte Stoudt in the Los Angeles Times. Based on the actual minutes from a women’s club founded during the Great Depression, this moving play “doesn’t so much narrate as eavesdrop on these women.”

Washington, D.C.
Romeo and Juliet
Sidney Harman Hall, (202) 547-1122
The Shakespeare Theater Company’s all-male casting of Romeo and Juliet is a throwback to the Bard’s own time, said Peter Marks in The Washington Post. The question is: “Does a muskier version of the play smell as sweet?” The answer: “Sorta kinda.” The boys play the star-crossed lovers convincingly, but lack passion.

New York
Beast
New York Theater Workshop, (212) 460-5475
Playwright Michael Weller’s latest is a “macabre drama about a badly maimed Iraq War veteran who embarks on a mysterious odyssey in search of acceptance,” said Charles Isherwood in The New York Times. Too bad the play’s protagonist seems less an actual character than a “supernatural manifestation of the collective psyche” of war veterans.

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