Two Who Are On Their Way

Plays by Howard Korder and Jon Robin Baitz acidly etch how we live now

When a writer for the stage reveals great promise but has not yet produced fully satisfying work, old hands are apt to remark, "I'm not sure there's a play here, but there's certainly a playwright." Just such tempered optimism is being triggered right now by two emotionally intense, fiercely funny and sadly flawed works by dramatists in their early 30s. One writer -- Howard Korder -- has the slam-bang dialogue and macho preoccupations of a David Mamet in training. The other -- Jon Robin Baitz -- can infuse domestic drama with the burdens of history in the fashion of a budding...