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Relatively Speaking 

When: Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 12, 2 p.m. Continues through Jan. 25 2014
Price: $15 general admission, $12 for seniors and students
You’d think the combined wits of Woody Allen, Ethan Coen, and Elaine May would make for some terrific and neurotic theater. And on a cosmetic level, the three one-acts that make up Relatively Speaking by the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley do succeed, but the plays’ artistic currency as a whole is something of a mixed bag. Each of the three mini-plays has its surprising and disarming moments, but all told, the amusement never leads to anything substantial or sticking — the theatrical equivalent of consuming three consecutive meals of pancakes. Satisfying? Yes. But also one that leaves the palate wanting. Still, props go to the Actors Ensemble for making the relative gimmicks of Relatively Speaking into something entertaining, if not consequential. Consider it one more starchy, post-holiday treat before your New Year’s theater resolutions begin in earnest.
— Anna Pulley

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