The final play of Banyan Theater Company's summer season is The Clean House, Sarah Ruhl's much-praised comedy-drama about a busy doctor whose Brazilian maid is too depressed to clean the house.
Ruhl, born in 1974, has become something of a household name in theater since she was awarded a MacArthur "genius'' grant two years ago. The Clean House, set in "a metaphysical Connecticut,'' begins with the maid, Matilde, telling a joke in Portuguese. An author's note in the script says, "Everyone in this play should be able to tell a really good joke.''
Karina Barros, pictured here, who is from Sao Paulo, plays Matilde. Douglas Jones, the longtime Asolo Theatre actor, directs a cast that also includes Seva Anthony, Robert Herrle, Geraldine Librandi and Ann Morrison.
The Clean House opens tonight and runs through Aug. 24 at the Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $28.50. (941) 552-1032; www. banyantheatercompany.com.