Signature Theater, 555 W. 42nd St.
(betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), 244-7529,
through Oct.10.
Despite an impressive career nearly four decades long in the American theater and a reputation among serious critics scarcely short of reverence, the Cuban-born playwright Maria Irene Fornes remains relatively unknown to theatergoers in her adopted country. She belongs to that large but distinguished company of dramatists who have built extraordinarily important bodies of work but are nevertheless rarely revived by our major Off-Broadway and regional theaters, addicted as they generally are to a monotonous diet of trusty standards and "fresh faces" from yesterday's headlines. This is precisely the sort of neglect that Signature Theater, which devotes each season to a single living playwright, is uniquely suited to redress. Unfortunately, the first offering of Signature's all-Fornes season is a checkered affair whose main production is so badly misconceived it runs the risk of turning people off to her work.