All the acting here is above par. Collinson doesn't overdo Kimberly's exasperation or make her seem sorry for herself. As Buddy, Kneeland is a delight in every scene, like watching a guy in a bunny costume hold up a bank. Sorensen enjoys playing the foul-mouthed, increasingly bandaged-up mom as much as we enjoy watching her. Thompson keeps the habitual criminal Debra in scheming motion, cranking out crimes like a busy machine. As teenager Jeff, Valles is super simpatico, and we trust Kimberly in his hands.

Direction is by Mark Peckham instead of 2nd Story artistic director Ed Shea, who usually helms here. Peckham makes sure things roll along briskly and always keeps us aware of the underlying poignancy. The in-the-round performance is in the circle of a clock face, and during set changes there is tick-tocking in the background as the time is projected on the floor. Kimberly Akimbo has a life-affirming rather than gloomy ending, but reality is given due respect, and thereby we are too.

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