Dixie Sheridan
Lisa Quintela
April 11, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The stage adaptation of Ann Bannon’s 1950s lesbian pulp novels follows two Sapphic sorority sisters who part ways post-graduation. Although Beth (Autumn Dornfeld) pines for her bosom buddy, she settles for a life with husband and kids; meanwhile, a lovelorn Laura (Xanthe Elbrick) escapes to a pre-Stonewall Manhattan, where she dives right into the lesbian watering-hole scene. Whimpering her way out of the closet, Laura must decide if she wants a marriage of convenience proposed by her once-burned-twice-shy gay friend Jack (David Greenspan), or the homosexual lifestyle offered by her lover, Beebo (Jenn Colella), the brazen go-to butch of the village. When Beth finally decides to grow a backbone and find Laura — thanks to inspiration from a madcap boozy lesbian writer (a scene-stealing Carolyn Baeumler) — the melodrama unfolds. The engaging cast lacks a savvy script (though there are some witty one-liners), and Leigh Silverman’s direction ultimately seesaws from histrionic camp to sincere gravitas, never quite finding a balance where the audience can sit. However, it’s undeniable that the hardships and sentiments bordering the pulpy veneer of this self-discovery drama are still relevant, and sometimes, anything but fictional. (Tickets: 212-307-4100 or Ticketmaster.com) B

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