By William Finn & James Lapine

Directed by Greg Harris

A Jewish matron sits in the stands watching her son play baseball, then looks over in consternation at a new arrival in the crowd and croons to herself, ''Just what I wanted at a Little League game -- my ex-husband's ex-lover. Isn't that what every mother dreams of?''

Falsettos expresses edgy wit, cockeyed charm and matter-of-fact acceptance of a world Norman Rockwell never painted. Handsome men in sports clothes and sweatbands play racquetball, snorting like stags in battle, then sing love songs to each other. A female doctor and her lover, a would-be inventor of nouvelle kosher cuisine, cheerily introduce themselves as ''the lesbians from next door.'' The matron's husband, and surrogate father to her son, is the ex-husband's ex-psychiatrist. The shrink and the boy do a vaudeville-inspired soft-shoe number called "Everyone Hates His Parents." The mother probably speaks for a whole generation or two when she describes her occupation in life as ''holding to the ground as the ground keeps shifting.''

The play is a study in contradictions: a laugh-a-minute musical -- about families dealing with AIDS; a tragedy filled with hope. ''More powerful than any other American musical of its day,'' raved The New York Times' finicky Frank Rich.

Produced by StageQ at Bartell Theater, 113 E Mifflin Street

Performances: January 12 - February 3, 2007

Performance Times: Thursdays, 7:30 pm, Friday, Saturday, 8 pm, Sunday, 1/28, 2:00 pm

Ticket Prices: $10 Thursday and Sunday, $15 Friday and Saturday

Call 608-661-9696, ext 3 for reservations or more information.

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