It was hardly a laff riot prospect, but the politico-philosophical comedy TANGO, by Polish dramatist Slawomir Mrozek, was a droll reminder that well-meaning dunderheads on the left can do as much harm as their political polar opposites when flailing about to grab levers to authority. Staged by the Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA theater programs and directed by Shana Gozansky, Will Austin captured the frustrations of an assertive young man who seeks order among anarchists.

Providence Performing Arts Center gave us two especially choice tastes of touring Broadway. JERSEY BOYS, which had played here two years before, once again transcended the jukebox musical genre with thoughtful characterizations. And MEMPHIS wowed us with a finger-snapping songbook, this time rock and R&B, as we watched "race music" get accepted by white radio listeners in the early '50s.

For a brains-checked-at-the-door fun time, I was most delighted at the Courthouse Center for the Arts, in West Kingston, when the puppets of AVENUE Q, the Sesame Street-on-LSD Broadway musical, burst balloons of societal puffery with bawdy abandon. As in: sorry, Junior, but if everybody is special, nobody is.

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