Theater: The Love Gap ELLIOT LOVES by Jules Feiffer

The cartoons that Jules Feiffer syndicates to more than 100 newspapers around the globe are world crises in miniature -- angst-ridden responses by ordinary people to headline horrors and social absurdities. His plays have the same etched wit, the same arresting blend of compassion and chilly analysis and, alas for dramaturgy, the same tendency toward monologue: one of his central if unspoken themes is that people almost never speak to each other as insightfully as they speak to themselves.

Elliot Loves, which opened off-Broadway last week in an elegant staging by Mike Nichols, starts with a solo lament by a middle-aged...

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