Moises Kaufman, who wrote The Laramie Project, is the author of this drama (a vehicle earlier this year for Jane Fonda on Broadway) about a 60-ish musicologist (Sharon Garrison) obsessed with finding reasons for Beethoven's years-long work on 33 short variations of a simple waltz. She has a reason to hurry; she has ALS and wants to write up her research before she's incapacitated. Lydia Mackay is good as the daughter, who finds new connections with her mother as the disease takes its toll. But director Jac Alder lets Garrison overact and the action slows to larghissimo in the second act. Best performances are by R Bruce Elliott as Beethoven, and Clark Griffith, the pianist playing all the variations throughout the two and a half hour play. His performance on the upstage grand piano is astounding. Through October 30 at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St. in the Quadrangle. 214-871-3300. Reviewed October 3.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Mon., Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Oct. 1. Continues through Oct. 28, 2010