Capsule Reviews 

Our critics weigh in on local theater.

Our Town -- In a way, Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer-winning classic is as insular as its title suggests: either you're the sort of person who is touched by this idyll of small-town life in New Hampshire circa 1901, or it's way too precious for you. Directors Kate Christ and Mary Galde do a fine job wrangling the necessary pantomime and mixed bag of performances into amiable life, though at best any punchlines elicit a gentle smile. The folksiness is somewhat undermined by having the Stage Manager who walks us through his beloved town be a stuffy British guy in a three-piece suit, placidly played by Troy Johnson, who also assembled the famously skeletal set. Martha Luehrman and Pat Cross carry a quiet dignity as austere housewives, David Ammon is a nicely avuncular Doc Gibbs, and Jack Starr and Casi Maggio are the very picture of foot-shuffling bashfulness as the young lovers -- though gosh, "lovers" sounds so dirty. -- S.H. (Through February 12 at Broadway West; 510-683-9218 or


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