As Brooke, Lydia Mackay is under-served by Alder's direction and by Bruce Coleman's costume design. What sophisticated female New York writer flies cross-country in December in a cheap gray sweater, silky tank top and ripped-knee jeans? Mackay, a beautiful woman head to toe, is forced to wear this ghastly ensemble in every scene.

The weakest performance is by Coit, too spindly and wispily blonde to make Polly a fearsome tiger mother. For her character's big second-act speech, she's planted in a corner of the in-the-square arena, meaning a fourth of the audience sees only the tightly clipped bun on the back of her tiny head.

Lydia Mackay, Connie Coit and John Davies play members of a troubled family in Theatre Three's Other Desert Cities.
Jeffrey Schmidt
Lydia Mackay, Connie Coit and John Davies play members of a troubled family in Theatre Three's Other Desert Cities.

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Other Desert Cities

Continues through December 15 at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St., in The Quadrangle. Call 214-871-3300.

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They down a lot of drinks in Other Desert Cities, a play that leaves us thirsting for better dramas.

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