Of Drugs, Porn And Soup

TITLE: ESCAPE FROM HAPPINESS

AUTHOR: GEORGE F. WALKER

WHERE: CENTER STAGE, BALTIMORE

THE BOTTOM LINE: An unsung but first-rank regional stage scores with vibrant absurdism about a bonkers family.

Baltimore is no one's idea of an artistic Mecca -- maybe the last top-tier cultural icon to emerge there was Babe Ruth -- but for 30 seasons it has fostered a nonprofit theater of increasingly venturesome repertoire. Housed in a converted college building amid the rundown brick facades of downtown, Center Stage has debuted Eric Overmyer's On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning, a sprightly fantasy about three Victorian women explorers...

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