Uncle Peck is a doting -- make that very doting -- relative when it comes to his niece by marriage, Li'l Bit. While the teenager is growing up in rural Maryland, her uncle not only teaches her how to drive; he also instructs her in the ways of intimacy. The story of their seven-year relationship is told in How I Learned to Drive, the 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Paula Vogel. Using something of a Greek chorus, a sparse set consisting of two chairs, and references to driving manuals, Vogel spins the tawdry tale with enough wit and warmth to keep audiences from rejecting the inappropriate relationship outright. Rather than eliciting disgust, she raises questions about seducers and the seduced and about the complexity of relationships. The play opens tonight at 8 p.m. and runs through April 4 at the Caldwell Theatre Company (7837 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton). Ticket prices range from $26 to $37.50. Call 561-241-7432 or toll-free 930-6400. For a complete schedule, see "Stage" listings.
Even those who couldn't care less about theater immediately turn to the "Arts & Leisure" section of the Sunday New York Times to get a glimpse of the caricatures drawn by Al Hirschfeld. Deemed the "Dean of Entertainment Illustration," he's as well-known today as any Broadway artist -- writers, actors, and directors included -- mainly because his powers of portraiture have not waned in the many decades he's been working for the Times. Hirschfeld, who was born in St. Louis in 1903, moved to New York at age 12 and was drawing for film companies before he was 20. At that point he began to perfect his style, characterized by long, fluid pen strokes. His images have appeared in the Times since the '30s, as well as on movie and theater posters. The 1964 placard for Hello, Dolly! features a cartoon of Carol Channing, her hair and mouth even bigger than in real life. And in a Casablanca drawing for the Times, Humphrey Bogart's drawn, flat face and Ingrid Bergman's high, defined cheekbones are ridiculously exaggerated. Works covering Hirschfeld's career are on view through May 9 in "In Line With Al Hirschfeld" at the International Museum of Cartoon Art (201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton). Admission prices range from $3 to $6. Call 561-391-2200 for hours of operation.