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The Pride. The best thing about British playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell's script is the central conceit. The action plays out in alternating scenes that take the same three people — well, essentially and symbolically the same, since they don't ever age — back and forth through a fifty-year span, from 1958 to 2008. In the process, the play documents changes in gay life and culture over time. In the mid-'50s, buttoned-down Phillip is married to Sylvia, a children's book illustrator; she has invited her friend, Oliver, the writer on her current project, to meet him and share a meal. The two men chat stiffly over a drink; later, it turns out they're attracted to each other. The results are devastating. Phillip and Oliver begin 2008 as a couple, but Oliver is unable to keep his dick in his pants, and a bitter breakup ensues. Although homosexuality is far more accepted than before, history is inescapable: Oliver's promiscuity is surely the flip side of earlier repression; discrimination continues; the difficulties of finding love persist. Sylvia is the one character who has prospered over time, having evolved from the sad, hurt, uncomprehending wife of the '50s into a sophisticated woman; she remains a perceptive and devoted friend to both Phillip and Oliver. The issues explored in The Pride are still vivid and pressing, but the play often comes across more like a catalogue of problems than a living drama, and the biggest problem is the self-pitying tone. It might have helped if director Taylor Gonda and her actors had chosen to play against rather than emphasize the lachrymose text. Presented by Paragon Theatre through June 4, 1387 South Santa Fe Drive, 303-914-6458,

Rose Colored Glass. Rose Fleishman, a Jewish refugee from Austria, runs a delicatessen in Chicago, right across the alley from a pub owned by Lady O'Riley, a dour Irish widow. Separated by centuries of history, culture and religion, the two women are coldly formal toward each other, but Lady's irrepressible granddaughter, Peg, won't have it. She's forever shuttling between the eateries, chatting, asking questions, thinking up stratagems, and slowly, reluctantly, the women begin speaking to each other. The relationship deepens as Lady learns more about Rose's predicament. It's 1938, and through the increasingly unreliable news channels from Europe, Rose finds out that her sister Sabena has disappeared from Vienna and is either dead or in hiding, and that her eleven-year-old nephew, Abraham, has fled to England. She and Lady join forces to bring the child to America. This is a gentle, nostalgic piece that would make a charming essay, short story or one-act, but there's not enough action to animate a full-length play. The tone is far-reaching and humanistic, however, and important ideas are aired: humankind's provincialism, for example, and the way we tend to ignore far-away tragedies unless there's a specific story and name attached to them. There are also salutary reminders of America's shameful reluctance to take in Jewish refugees during World War II, the bureaucracy and anti-Semitism that saw thousands of professionals, workers and people with prosperous relatives in the United States turned away on the grounds that they might become a public burden. The play also does a good job of re-creating the war as seen from the United States; along with the characters, we attempt to tease out the words from a radio's crackling static and contemplate the huge importance of papers — birth certificates, visas — that can mean the difference between life and death. But the script itself is fairly static. Presented by Miners Alley Playhouse through June 19, 1224 Washington Avenue, Golden, 303-935-3044, Reviewed May 12.

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