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Hothouse romance

Jacob Coakley

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From the Calendar
Diary of Anne Frank
February 13-22, $20-$30
UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theater, 895-3663.
House of Blue Leaves
February 13–March 1, $22 ($19 for students & seniors).
Las Vegas Little Theatre, 3920 Schiff Drive, 362-7996.

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a couple of plays about the claustrophobic effects of relationships?

Nevada Conservatory Theatre is presenting a new version of The Diary of Anne Frank by Wendy Kesselman. This version incorporates unedited versions of Anne Frank’s diary that offer an uncensored view of Frank’s insights into her growing sexuality, her terror of the Holocaust and her tension with her mother.

“It’s an angrier version—more political and not sentimentalized,” says director Robert Brewer. Love does bloom between Frank and her co-fugitive Peter van Pels, but here’s betting that it’s a lot less puppy and a lot more guard dog.

John Guare’s House of Blue Leaves is a little doozy of black humor. It opens Friday at Las Vegas Little Theatre. “It’s a very funny look at the way we are all a little crazy in pursuit of what we want,” says director Walter Niejadlik.

Main character Artie is an aspiring songwriter stuck in a hopeless marriage with a deranged woman he’s trying to get committed so he can flee to California with his girlfriend and write songs for the movies. “Throw in some nuns desperate to see the pope and a deaf starlet, and things get pretty crazy,” Niejadlik adds.

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