Capsule Reviews

A Number Son of a gun, the clones have arrived. Right now they're only in the living room of a middle-aged dad named Salter (Bruce DuBose). He thought he had one son--maybe two (he'd ordered up a clone of a dead kid decades ago). But suddenly there are three, four, maybe more identical sons turning up on his doorstep. Caryl Churchill's 65-minute drama uses just two actors. But one of them, Cameron Cobb, plays a number of clones--each slightly different from his brothers, one slightly more savage than the rest. One son is murdered by another. But why? And shouldn't Salter feel something more than an urge to sue? Written in choppy, abstract language, the play hits hard on hot topics, from human reproductive science to the war in Iraq. The performances are restrained but admirable. The overall mood is a sort of elegantly mannered argument leading to thermonuclear war. Through June 11 at Undermain Theatre, 3200 Main St., 214-747-5515. Reviewed this week. (Elaine Liner)

Putting It Together Taking it apart, the final show in Theatre Three's current season is a jumble of missed opportunities. The casting in this 30-song Stephen Sondheim revue is weak even by this company's low standards. Singer Connie Marie Brown appears to be heavily tranquilized. Greg Dulcie and Ricky Pope have pleasant voices but should never be asked to dance, not even a soft-shoe. And cute Ric Leal seems to have wandered over from a better production somewhere else, making him out of place here. They've cut the edgiest Sondheim tunes (from A Little Night Music and Assassins) that were included in Manhattan Theatre Club's original lineup for this moody musical tribute to a Broadway master. And look at that multilevel set and tell me it doesn't resemble the entrance to a mausoleum. Like those ladies in Sondheim's song, this production is out to lunch. Through June 12 at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St., Suite 168, 214-871-3300. (E.L.)

Tab A, Slot B: A New Age Sexiology Most sketch comedy is funnier under the influence of alcohol, but the young and exuberant performers of Bootstraps Comedy Theater have a way of intoxicating the audience with irresistibly giddy charm. They fling themselves through two acts of short scenes that take them through the "32 phases of love." Favorite: No. 6--"Plagiarizing Shakespeare." Socrates and Abe Lincoln wander in to offer thoughts on the coital conundrum. And Oedipus stumbles on (he's blind, ya know) to announce that he's in Freudian analysis and isn't that ironic? Written by the cast, this comic look at love is pregnant with surprises. Don't blink or you'll miss the anatomically correct marionette in the trench coat. You might want to close your eyes, however, when the man goes into labor and gives birth to...ewwww. These are clever comic actors willing to take huge risks to say new things. Best of the bunch is Matt Lyle, shyly warbling, "I love you with all my glands/Like hippie chicks living in vans." Love these kids. They'll make you laugh. Through May 28 at Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. 972-365-2839. Reviewed this week. (E.L.)

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