Beyond the Fourth Wall 

Our critics review local theater productions.

The Fabulous Life of ... A Size Zero— The Choral Rehearsal Hall in the basement of the Cesar Chavez Student Center is about as far off Broadway as you can get, but that's where director Ben Rimalower chose to stage a bare-bones student workshop production of Marissa Kamin's campy body-image morality play to get the kinks out before its official world premiere Off-Broadway. Less than an hour long, Size Zero is about the destructive influence of celebrity culture on impressionable young girls, with little room for misinterpretation. Animated and often amusing, it bounces around from game-show parodies to monologues about diets and drugs, but at this point it never gets much beyond after-school-special melodrama. — S.H. (Through April 1 at UC Berkeley; UCChoral.berkeley.edu or 510-642-3880.)

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?— This Alameda community-theater production of Edward Albee's 1962 classic of marital cruelty just whets the appetite for depths in the text unplumbed in Richard Robert Bunker's intimate production. There's nothing cultured about Sue Trigg's coarseness as Martha, a university president's daughter married to a professor whom she detests as a professional failure, and she comes off more like a trucker's daughter. Robert Rossman gives George a soft-spoken eloquence and grudging tolerance, but when he loses his temper he loses his credibility. As a young couple only in the room only to give George and Martha a captive audience, Jamie Olsen comes to life only in reactions as Nick, but Lisa Price is quite funny as her Honey gets blotto and loosens up. — S.H. (Through April 1 at Altarena Playhouse; Altarena.org or 510-523-1553.)

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