A digest of what's playing at theaters in and around the Berkshires based upon reviews by Berkshire Eagle theater critic Jeffrey Borak. Capsules include publication date of review, closing date of production, performance schedule, and production's running time.
♥ denotes a highly recommended critic's choice. BETTER LATE. Larry Gelbart's comedy about a recuperating seventysomething automobile dealer who moves in with his ex-wife and her current husband -- with whom she had a two-year affair before divorcing husband No. 1-- carries more heft than its dinner-theater-lite plot summary would suggest. But the play requires a delicately balanced style that eludes the director and three of his too-hard-working four-member cast (9/10). Through Sept. 22. Eves.: Fri., Sat. 6. Mats.: Sun. 2. (1:55)
The Theater Barn, Route 20, New Lebanon, N.Y. Tickets: $24, $22. (518) 794-8989; theaterbarn.com
SCOTT AND HEM IN THE GARDEN OF ALLAH. Novelists F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway battle their personal demons -- and each other -- in an imagined meeting between the two in Fitzgerald's apartment in the notorious Garden of Allah apartment complex in Los Angeles on July 4, 1937 in a new play by Mark St. Germain that gives us very little to care about (9/2). Through Sept. 29. Eves.: Wed.-Sat. 7:30. Mats.: Sat. 4; Sun. 3. (1:25). Barrington Stage Company, St. Germain Stage, Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden St., Pittsfield. Tickets: Start at $40. (413) 236-8888; barringtonstageco.org
THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE. Martin McDonagh's tough, gritty, oh, so dark comedy about the emotionally and physically violent relationship between a 40-year-old virgin Irish spinster and her ailing manipulative mother who delights in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in all aspects of her daughter's life is given a generally well-acted, solidly crafted production that falls just short of haunting and memorable (8/24). Through Sept. 15. Eves.: Fri., Sat. 8:30. Mats.: Sat., Sun. 3. (2:11). Shakespeare & Company, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St., Lenox. Tickets: $50-$15. (413) 637-3353; shakespeare.org
♥ TIME STANDS STILL. War's damages -- especially collateral damges -- are brought home in achingly human ways in this seamlessly acted, flawlessly directed drama about a couple -- he's a freelance writer; she's a freelance photojournalist, both of them specializing in covering civil wars -- trying to readjust their lives after returning from Iraq where she has been severely wounded and he burned out emotionally. Funny, poignant, tough, compassionate, stunning (9/3). Through Sept. 15. Eves.: Tue.-Thu. 7:30; Fri., Sat. 8. Mats.: Sat., Sun. 2:30. (2:00) Theaterworks, City Arts on Pearl, 233 Pearl St., Hartford, Conn. Tickets: $63-$35. (860) 527-7838; theaterworkshartford.org