A sharp observer with a solid sense of humor, short story writer Shirley Carney has lived a rich life at 57. And this adaptation of her (unpublished) work by Shepsu Aakhu and Mignon McPherson Nance for Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre is definitely best when it invites us to laugh. Representations of Carney’s younger years are honest and funny, while some of the characters in her partly narrated, partly enacted stories–some true, others fictional–are entertaining thanks to vibrant writing and the ensemble’s quick, credible transformations from role to role. But when the subject matter turns more serious, the show begins to feel Oprah-esque. Weak transitions and abrupt endings exacerbate frustration with the evening’s thwarted promise. Through 12/19: Thu-Fri 8:30 PM, Sat 8 PM, Sun 3:30 PM. No show Thu 11/25. Victory Gardens Theater, first-floor studio, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000 (TTY 773-871-0682). $20.