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Brief reviews of current shows

Living Out. Everything that playwright Lisa Loomer says about the blindness of the middle class -- even the kindest and most liberal-minded among them -- to the problems of the people who work for them is true and desperately needs saying. She explores these issues through the relationship between Ana, a Salvadoran nanny, and her employer, Nancy, a high-powered entertainment lawyer married to a public defender. Nancy knows nothing about the life Ana has fled, and she harbors many of the usual stereotypes about Latinos. But she's a decent enough sort, and the play raises the possibility that a real friendship might develop between these women. The beginning of Living Out can be funny, and Loomer's points are worth making -- but argument isn't drama, and the characters seem to have been created solely as the playwright's mouthpieces. We've met affluent liberals like Nancy and her husband before, and a lot of the dialogue is at a sitcom level. As for Ana, she's purely sad and saintly. Like the dialogue, the direction lacks urgency and the action feels slow. Presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company through October 28, Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-893-4100, www.denvercenter.org.

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