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Three stage picks: 'Gruesome Playground Injuries,' 'Gas and Candles,' 'Small Craft Warnings'

Gruesome Playground Injuries m

Rajiv Joseph is an up-and-coming American playwright whose Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (with Robin Williams as the tiger) had a Broadway run this year. Now another Joseph play, Gruesome Playground Injuries, opens tonight in a production by Stageworks, starring Betty-Jane Parks and Erik Lurz. The drama charts the complex relationship of the two characters, who range from age 8 to 38 in various scenes. It runs through Oct. 30 in the company's new home at Grand Central in Channel District, 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. $24.50. (813) 251-8984;

, Gas and Candles

Elizabeth Fendrick and Richard Coppinger play a pair of senior citizens in Gas and Candles. They try to attract attention to themselves, and avoid starvation, in the comedy by David Henry Wilson, opening this week and continuing through Oct. 30 at Gorilla Theatre, 4419 N Hubert Ave., Tampa. $15-$25, with $10 student rush tickets a half-hour before curtain. (813) 879-2914;

Small Craft Warnings

The Tennessee Williams centennial (the playwright was born on March 26, 1911) has been oddly unnoticed by Tampa Bay theater. It's up to West Coast Players to right this wrong with a production of Small Craft Warnings, a relatively obscure Williams play, premiered in 1972. Set in a bar, it "is almost a dramatic essay rather than a play — a temperature reading of a time and a place. It has a feel for the waste of life and also for the human spirit for survival," wrote Clive Barnes in a New York Times review of the original production. It opens Friday and runs through Oct. 30 at the theater, 21905 U.S. 19 N (behind Toyota dealership), Clearwater. $15, $18 (Friday night shows are two for $20). (727) 437-2363;

John Fleming, Times performing arts critic

Three stage picks: 'Gruesome Playground Injuries,' 'Gas and Candles,' 'Small Craft Warnings' 10/12/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 4:30am]
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