Like a bad dream of social paranoia, the ending has Sidney, who at the beginning had been belittled and dismissed by the others, literally playing the others like puppets: in the closing image, he is gleefully directing a party game. Architect Geoffrey, whose career is on the rocks because of a design blunder, is desperate for a commission from the now successful builder. Banker Ronald, whose job is also shaky, also needs his business.

Director Brian McEleney has done wonders with this production, wringing out every last laugh. Take the fine-tuned timing in the first act, when several times everyone leaves the stage and we are internally biting our nails, waiting for the next disaster to emerge from the exit door like a horror movie monster. Terrific.

LAST WEEK'S REVIEW of Spinning Into Butter at the University of Rhode Island erroneously listed understudies in most of the roles. The corrected review is online. My apologies to all concerned.

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