Self Torture and Strenuous Exercise and Springtime, Green Highway Theater, at Cafe Voltaire. Beth and Carl are having an affair. Carl’s wife, Adele, has cut her wrists–not fatally–and now claims her unfaithful spouse wants to kill her. Beth’s husband, Alvin, hides in optimistic denial. Everything comes to a climax at a dinner party where everyone vents. Harry Kondoleon’s Self Torture and Strenuous Exercise isn’t very funny, but director Brian Thompson wisely treats it as if it were–with food, flatware, and crockery flying in all directions. And Lisa Friedman makes Beth a frustrated poet whose unleashed fury has all the power of a tornado somehow imprisoned on the tiny stage.

The curtain-raiser for this lightweight but amusing farce is Maria Irene Fornes’s Springtime, a tale of two lesbians and the man who comes between them. Under Janel Winter’s direction, Leanne Beauregard and Carol Roscoe trade dialogue and eye contact with a ladylike politeness that adds nothing to Fornes’s flatly minimalist–and thankfully short–narrative.

–Mary Shen Barnidge