According to writer-performer Rose Buckner, her grandmother Olivia “smoked cigarettes, read William James, believed in the power of telepathy, and refused to ride sidesaddle.” She also scandalized her refined Kentucky family by marrying a Japanese minister. The solo show Almost a Kentucky Belle begins as an engaging portrait of Olivia Buckner but ends as an enervating summary of her life. Though directed crisply by Luigi Salerni and acted with impish serenity by Buckner, the piece fails Olivia completely once she gets married, reducing her to the traditional roles of wife and mother. Also on the bill is Laura Hugg’s stiff Are You Cool or Are You Uncool? South theater, 7 PM.