Max Frisch’s The Arsonists provides wicked political allegory but inert drama, argues Tony Adler. The Trap Door Theatre staging is sharp, and yet, with “nowhere to go, the show can’t help but go nowhere.” Conversely, the compelling theme of Night Over Erzinga—”the persistence of trauma through multiple generations”—is obscured by a digressive, kitchen-sink script. Adler recommends Two Lights Theatre’s The Altruists, in which a talented cast and skilled codirectors bring out the witty ferocity of Nicky Silver’s script.

Stephen Sondheim’s musical Assassins explores the dark underbelly of the American Dream, but Zac Thompson says Billy Pacholski’s production lacks the irony to make it work. Michael Montenegro’s puppet performance Fools Tango, on the other hand, effectively portrays loss, longing, and the “aching fragility of a beautiful moment.”