Stagebeat

To playwright Christopher Durang, hell is psycho roommates screwing up your seaside holiday. That¹s the freakish situation in Betty's Summer Vacation, a comedy of menace that is receiving a first-rate staging from Miami¹s Mad Cat Theatre Company. The tedious script -- featuring rape, murder, and genital dismemberment -- is intended as a critique of the moral depravity of popular culture. It has been overpraised (it won an Obie, among several other awards), but the production is so fiery and funny that most Mad Cat fans won¹t care. The Mad Catters bring their signature company style -- a hip, humanizing element and a pedal-to-the-metal commitment -- that makes up for the script¹s deficiencies. (Through August 14 at the Mad Cat Theatre Company at the Miami Light Project, 3000 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-576-6377.) - Ronald Mangravite
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