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The week’s other openings

Aristocrats, The Overwhelming, and The Women of Brewster Place

The week’s other openings

Chicago Aristocrats Strawdog Theater, (773) 528-9696 Brian Friel’s “great 1979 play” is essentially a tribute to Chekhov, said Terry Teachout in The Wall Street Journal, with Friel’s family of formerly genteel Irish Catholics standing in for the master’s faded Russian aristocrats. This is an intimate, unmannered production. “Drop everything and go see it at once.”

New York The Overwhelming Laura Pels Theatre, (212) 719-1300 The Rwandan genocide serves as the backdrop for what’s essentially a melodrama, said Michael Feingold in The Village Voice. Though J.T. Rogers’ script tells a story we’ve heard before, it does provide several actors choice roles. Michael Stahl-David stands out as the teenage son of two American intellectuals swept up in the chaos.

Washington, D.C. The Women of Brewster Place Arena Stage, (202) 488-3300 Gloria Naylor’s 1983 novel has been adapted into a TV miniseries starring Oprah Winfrey and, now, a stage musical, said Peter Marks in The Washington Post. Soulful tunes evoke the 1960s and ’70s, but Tim Acito’s adaptation “hasn’t quite figured out how to whip the women’s disparate plights into a satisfying whole.”

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