Desert Storm: Jim Tommaney's antiwar fable balances three stories: soldiers on the war front, their concerned parents back home, and inside the Oval Office as the first President Bush and aides discuss U.S. involvement in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. The fictional plight of the soldiers and families hits hard but is unnecessarily juxtaposed with tedious political talk that doesn't inform or add substantially to the heart-wrenching reality faced by people the war has affected. (Through June 27 at EDGE Theatre, 3627 NE First Ct., Miami, 305-531-6083.)
The Life: The tiny Atlantis Playhouse takes a crazy gamble on The Life, a dark and gritty musical about pimps and prostitutes on New York's mean streets in the 1980s. The risk pays off. This rarely produced Tony Award winner (in its first regional production) features a fine score from master tunesmith Cy Coleman that ranges from snazzy showtunes to funk, blues, and gospel, with wry, bitter lyrics from Ira Gassman. The result is white hot. The story line meanders and production values are decidedly low-rent, but the talented, fiercely committed acting ensemble blows the roof off the Playhouse anyway. (Through July 11. Atlantis Playhouse, 5893 S. Congress Ave., Atlantis. 561-304-3212.)
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