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Three cheers for 3 shows playing around the country

Three cheers for 3 shows playing around the country

1. Politically charged drama 'Other Desert Cities' pits parents against kids by Rohan Preston [Star Tribune]

The Pulitzer-nominated Other Desert Cities, which recently played at the Mark Taper Forum, landed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 9. The production, featuring Sally Wingert, Michelle Barber and David Anthony Brinkley, plays through March 24.

"This play is really like an onion," said director Peter Rothstein. "The theater and entertainment business are often accused of having a liberal bias. But Jon Robin Baitz doesn't take sides. He really goes to bat for all of his characters."

2. 'Book of Mormon' says hello to San Diego by James Hebert [U-T San Diego]

Los Angeles theatre fans sampled Trey Parker and Matt Stone's uproarious musical at the Pantages Theatre in fall 2012. Southern Californian die-hards eager to feast again on the Tony winner's biting satire and raunchy lyrics need only wait until spring 2014, when Broadway/San Diego will present the touring production at San Diego's Civic Theatre.

Mormon's style is "steeped in affection for old-time musicals but with an attitude that's more 'Borat' than '42nd Street,'" says James Hebert, theatre critic for the U-T San Diego.

3. The Shape of Memory, Both Fragile and Fierce, a review of The Glass Menagerie by Ben Brantley [The New York Times]

The American Repertory Theater's "gorgeous new production" of The Glass Menagerie features a superstar cast, including Zachary Quinto as Tom, and Cherry Jones, "perhaps the greatest stage actress of her generation," as Amanda Wingfield. The classic Tennessee Williams play runs at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, Mass., through March 17.

"Memory may be a torturer in 'The Glass Menagerie,'" says Brantley. "But every so often, as this glorious production allows, it lights up the darkness like a divine benediction."