Theater: Bowing Out with a Flourish

The season ends with works evoking families and everyday magic


by Tina Howe

A vacationing family meets a boy in the Blue Ridge Mountains willing to take a group snapshot. He turns out to be a deaf-mute astrological visionary. High up in the Smokies, the menopausal mother of the family keeps hearing a baby crying out in the woods. After she leaves the tent, the audience hears it too. The family tumbles into its car outside a diner near Amarillo, Texas, and resumes squabbling, only this time father and daughter swap roles and accustomed dialogue, and so do mother and son. The elders squeak about needing a bathroom break....

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