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Thursday Theater Roundup

"Other Desert Cities," through Dec. 16 in the Kavinoky Theatre. ★★★½

From the review: "Baitz’s play, unlike far more simplistic living room dramas like Yasmina Reza’s 'God of Carnage,' is overloaded in the best possible way with emotional and political ammunition. It can be read from a strictly political angle, a strictly emotional one, or any combination of both. It says important things about mental illness, about apathy, about the need for a broader perspective than one was raised with, and about the use of dishonesty as the means to a laudable end – a deeply political notion if ever there was one." --Colin Dabkowski

"It WAS a Wonderful Life," through Jan. 5 in the chapel at Forest Lawn Cemetery. ★★★½

From the review: "The one-hour-plus presentation is less revue and more monologue cycle. It is built on the premise that the long-term residents of the famous Buffalo cemetery have come to share their holiday memories. What sounds like a morose, potentially morbid display of friendly ghosts and black-and-white nostalgia, is actually a delightfully salient little piece." --Ben Siegel

 

"2012: End of the Road," through Dec. 2 in the Road Less Traveled Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "Elston and Behrend have succeeded in their goals for '2012: End of the Road.' They wanted audiences to think and talk about this new and topical play. Done." --Ted Hadley

"33 Variations," through Dec. 2 in MusicalFare Theatre. ★★★½

From the review: "[Moises] Kaufman imbues the potentially nap-worthy premise with the kind of smart and economical writing typically reserved for TV cop shows and Hollywood thrillers. Between interludes of the variations played beautifully by Kramer, we skip back and forth through time, from 18th century Vienna to our own troubled century, each time learning something new about the nature of creativity, genius and, perhaps especially, mediocrity." --Colin Dabkowski

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