White Tall Ball
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★★★ "By setting his story of two brothers — one a recently paroled convict, the other a former civil-rights attorney with public-office ambitions — in the always-tense world of Arizona politics, playwright Martin Zimmerman expands the usual palette of family dysfunction to include the problematic camouflage offered by gang affiliations, whether of the street-crime variety or political party. At this point, both the script and director Edward Torres' world-premiere production for Teatro Vista could afford to make some bolder choices. But when Zimmerman digs — smartly, I think — into the larger social matrix surrounding the brothers, some truly eye-opening moments occur. As a portrait of the multiple compromises and losing battles waged by those who want to serve both their blood families and some amorphous notion of the larger community, "White Tie Ball" offers an adroit dance along the precipice of troubling moral dilemmas." —Kerry Reid