Play by Play: March 27, 2009

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  March 24, 2009

THE SECRET RAPTURE | Artistic director Curt Columbus is at the helm of this well-acted Trinity Repertory Company revival of British writer David Hare's 1988 work, a critique of Thatcherite Britain, with its "sanctification of greed," wrapped into a dysfunctional-family drama. You can't say the work's not relevant. But unlike Hare's subtler mixes of the political and the personal, this one wears its didacticism on a caricatured sleeve that, halfway through, sprouts melodrama like a big ruffle. The focus is on two bereaved sisters, one the bohemian owner of a graphic-design business, the other a junior minister in Thatcher's army married to a Christian entrepreneur who uses Jesus as his business model. On top of their other differences, the siblings must deal with the vulgar, alcoholic loose cannon of a second wife who appears to have enlivened dead Dad's sunset years. The play means to illumine the way in which neither modest do-gooderism nor hard-nosed Tory aggression can control the damage wrought by human emotion and instability. But Hare, for all of his eloquence and wit, paints most of the characters as two-dimensional villains and boobs. The production, though, is fervent, atmospheric, and fleet. | Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington St, Providence, Rhode Island | 401.351.4242 | Through March 29 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs-Fri | 2 + 7:30 pm Sat | 2 + 7:30 pm Sun | $20-$60

SNOW ANGEL | The newly formed East Boston troupe Teatro Mariposa Azul presents Lewis John Carlino's one-act play, which "involves two characters, Connie, a prostitute, and Jane, a woman who pays to see Connie and tries to convince her to re-enact the moment Jane met her true love." | 80 Border Street Cultural Exchange Center, East Boston | 80borderstreet.org | Through March 27 | Curtain 8 pm Fri | $10 donation

SOMETHING ABOUT SWANS | Black Swans Productions presents this Actors' Equity Members Project Code production of M. Lynda Robinson's new drama, which "takes us to a family suddenly facing unusual challenges during a time of traditional family celebration." Robinson directs a cast that includes Michael Balcanoff and Sarah de Lima. | Boston Playwrights' Theatre, 949 Comm Ave, Boston | 978.281.0680 | Through April 5 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri-Sat | 2 pm Sun | Suggested donation $15-$22

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD | Golden Globe–winning film and television actor Matthew Modine plays Southern Depression-era pillar of the law Atticus Finch in Christopher Sergel's stage adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer-winning novel. Hartford Stage artistic director Michael Wilson is at the helm of the production, which also features Drama Desk Award winner Hallie Foote. | Hartford Stage, 50 Church St, Hartford, Connecticut | 860.527.5151 | Through April 12 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues | 2 + 7:30 pm [April 8] Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 pm [no April 4] + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm + 7:30 pm [no evening April 12] Sun | $23-$66; limited number $10 "Ten Spot" tickets; $10 discount students, children

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