Jack Goes Boating

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Through July 19. $40-$42; 510-843-4822 or www.auroratheatre.org.
Aurora Theatre Company, 2081 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley

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It takes a while for this romantic comedy to fully draw you into its oddball world of reggae music, hookah smoking, and swimming lessons, yet from the start there is something sweet and lovely about the budding relationship between Jack and Connie that keeps you wanting to find out more. Touchingly played by Danny Wolohan and Beth Wilmurt, Jack and Connie have an open honesty with each other that more than makes up for the mediocre, halting lives they've led so far. Wilmurt in particular is wonderful at bringing out Connie's idiosyncrasies, from her surprisingly frank discussions about her sexual needs to her delight at the thought of a meal made just for her. Playwright Bob Glaudini brings these two awkward lovers together with the help of their married friends, Clyde and Lucy, who barely have a handle on their own struggles. The parries among all four are sometimes funny, sometimes bittersweet, and often skirt the edge of the ridiculous. But even in the moments when everything seems to be falling apart, Glaudini and the cast bring out the beauty and the grace in people who are looking to make something of their lives with the people they love.

 
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