(Robert Hurwitt’s article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, 9/27.)

A classical tragedy of forbidden passion is made new with irresistible immediacy in Adam Bock's "Phaedra." Ancient myth is reborn as a suburban tale of fatal stepmotherly attraction, with tragic impact intact.

It's an impressive and deeply affecting feat. Bock, director Rose Riordan and a strong Shotgun Players cast weave a compelling spell of stifling middle-class repression. Marriage is an uneasy truce and parenting a minefield. A truth or even a strong opinion bursts like a firecracker in the enforced silence of unspoken compromises. An expression of love is an artillery shell.

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