The week's other openings
<em>The Mistakes Madeline Made, The Merchant of Venice, The Spin Cycle</em>
BostonThe Mistakes Madeline MadeWellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, (508) 349-9428Elizabeth Meriwether’s “scintillatingly dark comedy” about a personal assistant driven to violence by her “perky despot” of a boss can seem over-the-top, said Sandy MacDonald in The Boston Globe. But “bold young performers,” particularly Brenda Withers as the addled amanuensis, make it “witty and ultimately touching,” as well.
ChicagoThe Merchant of VeniceBoHo Theatre, (773) 791-2393Most directors today “sugarcoat” Shakespeare’s “most disagreeable play,” making Shylock seem sympathetic rather than villainous, said Kerry Reid in the Chicago Tribune. Peter Robel’s production doesn’t downplay Shake-speare’s apparent anti-Semitism—“which, paradoxically, makes it easier to swallow.”
Los AngelesThe Spin CycleRubicon Theatre, Ventura, (805) 667-2900Stephanie Zimbalist and Morgan Rusler can be hilarious as “two baby boomers re-enacting their old sibling rivalry while caring for their elderly mother,” said Charles McNulty in the Los Angeles Times. But David Rambo’s sporadically amusing new play is “essentially a sitcom in search of larger theatrical meaning.”