Lots of shows are opening this weekend: the three separate programs of City Theatre's Summer Shorts Festival (Signature Shorts, Undershorts and Shorts 4 Kids) in the Carnival Studio Theater at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts; Neil LaBute's In a Dark Dark House at Mosaic Theatre in Plantation; Strange Snow at the Alliance Theatre Lab in Miami Lakes.
But two plays that won't be around much longer are worth clearing your schedule to see. At Davie's Promethean Theatre, Gregg Weiner, Deborah L. Sherman and David Sirois are doing a deft job of eviscerating both reckless, self-adoring celebrities and tabloid "journalists," Though some of playwright Joe Penhall's plot details seem far-fetched at best, Dumb Show is thrillingly watchable, thanks in part to Margaret M. Ledford's bracing direction. The performers' British accents are spot on as they allow us to wallow in the pleasure of observing three morally compromised human beings doing nasty things to one another. Dumb Show, which is anything but, ends its run this weekend, so scurry on over to the Nova Southeastern University campus where Promethean performs.
At Actors' Playhouse in Coral Gables, you have two more weekends to catch Cold Case star Danny Pino and his fine fellow actors in Carlos Lacamara's Havana Bourgeois. The play about Cuban society's gradual erosion -- from the heady, optimistic revolutionary days of 1958 to the cruel realities of Fidel Castro's government, revealed just two years later -- unfolds within the walls of a Havana advertising agency. Under David Arisco's sure direction, James Puig, Jossie Harris Thacker, Jennifer De Castroverde, Oscar Cheda, David Perez Ribada, Joshua David Robinson and Francisco "Pancho" Padura play achievers and strivers, most of whom don't fully grasp the elusive truth until their dreams -- or their lives -- have crumbled. Particularly for those who lived this and left Cuba (and for the people who love them), Havana Bourgeois becomesan intense, emotional theater experience.