Resolutely non-confrontational, Andrew Bovell, author of When the Rain Stops Falling (Newhouse Theater), spends astonishing amounts of stage time dodging his story's central dilemma, about the damage fathers do to sons and its possible repair. An elaborately layered puzzle, leaping across decades from one set of characters to another, its scenes full of ingenious verbal echoes, Bovell's script is enormously clever—"too clever by half," as the British say. His efforts to avoid supplying key pieces of information may mislead you into thinking that his central events don't make sense, or cause them to strike you as hopelessly contrived. David Cromer's direction, locking tautly into Bovell's ornate setup, gets solid performances, particularly from Kate Blumberg and Richard Topol. But the constant downpour of Bovell's ingenuity dampens the good they do.

Song-and-dance injustice: The Scottsboro Boys
Carol Rosegg
Song-and-dance injustice: The Scottsboro Boys


The Scottsboro Boys
By John Kander, Fred Ebb, and David Thompson
Vineyard Theatre
108 East 15th Street, 212-353-0303

By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Public Theater
425 Lafayette Street, 212-539-8500

When the Rain Stops Falling
By Andrew Bovell
Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater
Lincoln Center, 212-239-6200

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