Why, then, under Daniel Gidron's direction, does Webber sometimes come across as a finger-waggling schoolmarm? Webber is at her best when she seems borderline autistic. But when she corrects Wilkins for addressing her as "miss" — something she's obliged to do frequently — Webber seems like an angry nanny. Is this Girdon's mistake or Ziegler's? It's hard to say, a point of confusion underscored by the scene in which Franklin goes on her one and only date.

"What do you want?" Caspar asks her, sending her off into a reverie that launches her right out of her seat.

"I want to be kissed," Franklin says — a real howler of a line, delivered in the style of Marion the Librarian, which made a little girl in the front row shriek and bury her head in her mother's lap.

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