The much-discussed matriarch Mrs. LeVay never shows up in Lydia Diamond's barbed-wire Stick Fly. Mom's certainly the focus, and perhaps the cause, of all the family's dysfunction, and everyone's awfully skittish that she'll walk through the door at any moment. Set on tony Martha's Vineyard, the play draws upon the varied and clashing social/sexual/familial attitudes that make the LeVay family what it is: successful, opinionated, provocative, combative. "This play," says director Eileen J. Morris, "is in a refreshingly contemporary setting where we are introduced to a Fresh Prince of Bellaire-type of family intertwined with a bit of blue humor and posh wit." And, we might add, many, many secrets in the closet. Diamond, assistant professor of playwriting and theater arts at Boston University, writes of affluent and accomplished upper- and middle-class blacks with a keen, observant eye. It's one area in contemporary drama that's woefully underserved, and Diamond fills it in nicely with painterly touches. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Through May 2. 3535 Main. For information, call 713-520-0055 or visit www.ensemblehouston.org. $20 to $45.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: April 8. Continues through May 2, 2010