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Pay a visit to "Mr. Green'

(Final edited version not provided for electronic library, please see microfilm.)

A yuppie and an old Jewish man. It sounds like the setup for a joke.

And though Visiting Mr. Green has its share of funny lines, this is a comedy only in a vague sense. The jokes spring from character, and the characters are among the richest onstage in recent years.

Jeff Baron has given us two unlikely friends and made us believe in them. Between the author's words and the two actors on the stage, we are eavesdropping, not watching a play.

When we see Brian Shea as the impeccably groomed Ross Gardiner, we know he will get ruffled before the play ends. What we don't anticipate is that we will get ruffled as well, as hard questions about family get asked.

Mr. Green (Ronald J. Aulgur) is a confused, bitter man who has enough of a sense of humor to appreciate Ross. When he has a "senior moment," a flashback onstage, we cringe.

As the two grow closer, they are often prickly, even (or especially) when they are connecting.

Visiting Mr. Green is a wonderfully funny and thoughtful play, rendered by a top-notch cast.

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