When: April 21-22, 8 p.m. and Wed., April 23, 5 p.m. 2008
Brian Thorstenson'sWakefield; or, Hello Sophia isn't a literary adaptation per se. He simply takes up the ball where Nathaniel Hawthorne left it with his 1851 story about a husband who suddenly returns after a mysterious twenty-year absence. Henry Wakefield doesn't have any answers, and Julian López-Morillas' performance makes credible how thoroughly Henry has misplaced himself. The real question is, what could possibly motivate his wife to take him back? We see the bewilderment and righteous indignation of Jan Zvaifler's cold Sophia. What we don't get is a sense of the woman who loved him. For a play all in one time and place, Gary Graves' staging of the Central Works premiere is full of blackouts to mark passing time and to delineate fantastic interludes of imagined alternate homecomings. It's as if there isn't quite enough substance to fill seventy minutes. Through March 23 at BerkeleyCity Club (2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley).CentralWorks.org or 510-558-1381.