Playwright Nicky Silver has a knack for finding humor in his melancholy, multi-pronged story (catch the very funny James Darvas as a giddy boy-toy and the hissy-fit he throws after a flap with one of his tricks), and director Adam Parker has fleshed out as many of the characters’ traits as he can expect (Samantha Ginn and Nathan Caracter are on all cylinders as Cynthia and Paul, and Rhianna Basore does well with the sulking, one-dimensional Libby).
But there’s a difference between telling a story through dialogue and showing it through anecdote and illustration, and Silver doesn’t seem to know which approach is appropriate, let alone when (this is especially evident with Taylor, although actor Jason Perkins gives the character his best shot). Triad is an earnest young troupe, and I recommend its latest play, but not necessarily with hearts and flowers.
Through Jan. 23 at Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights. $20-$25. triadprod.com
Extremities: The tables turn on a would-be rapist, now trapped in his victim’s home. Opens Jan. 7 at On- Stage Playhouse in Chula Vista. $14- $16. onstageplayhouse.org
Harriet Tubman, Second Moses: Tubman risks her life many times over as the conductor of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Opens Jan. 7 at Community Actors Theatre in City Heights. $6. communityactorstheatre.com
The Miracle Worker: Against unimaginable odds, Annie Sullivan fuels communication with blind, deaf and mute Helen Keller. Produced by San Diego Junior Theatre, it opens Jan. 7 at Casa del Prado Theatre in Balboa Park. $8-$14. juniortheatre.com
West Side Story: Ill-fated teen lovers Tony and Maria meet with tragedy as two rival New York street gangs jockey for position. Produced by Broadway / San Diego, it runs through Jan. 9 at the Civic Theatre, Downtown. $31.50-$104.50. broadwaysd.com
Shotgun Wedding Anniversary: What happens after 25 years in a less-than-blissful marriage? For Basil and Petals, it can mean murder. Through Feb. 26 at Mystery Cafe, in the Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill. $59.50, including dinner. mysterycafe.net