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When: Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m., Feb. 1-March 6, 7 p.m., Feb. 5-March 6, 2 & 7 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 19, 2 p.m. Continues through March 6 2011
Price: $10-$55

The bridge that hangs atop MelpomeneKatakalos' stage design looks like it might be made of steel, though it's probably wood. Still, it's about as sturdy as the metaphor that anchors Allison Moore's new comedy, Collapse. Moore had the brilliant idea to use the 2007 Minneapolis bridge collapse as an allegory for a failing relationship. In this case, one character, David (played by Gabriel Marin), survived the accident but wound up with horrendous PTSD. The other, Hannah (Carrie Paff), tries to be his rock, though she's obviously burdened by anxieties of her own. Both actors register a huge range of emotion via facial expressions alone. Directed by Jessica Heidt, the show is heavily compressed in time and space, though a whole slew of problems appear to be resolved at the end. The character acting is phenomenal, and the comedy spot-on, even if it's not gorged with one-liners. Through March 6 at AuroraTheatre (2081 Addison St., Berkeley). $10-$45. 510-843-4822 or

— Rachel Swan


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