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TO DECEMBER 10
Freshly Hispanicized, this melodrama casts Arthur Miller’s Italian Brooklynites as Dominicans, and moves the action from 1947 to 1964, but otherwise works much as it always did. Eddie (Vince Brown) is overprotective of his 18-year-old niece (Desiree Marie Velez) for reasons he doesn’t quite understand. When a strapping illegal immigrant (Donn Swaby) comes to stay with the family and starts romancing her, Eddie’s protective impulses turn to fury and the evening lurches toward tragedy. Miller acquiesced in the reworking of the characters’ backgrounds, and except for a couple of early lines about Roman laws and Christopher Columbus, the changes don’t grate. The on-again-off-again accents do, but only until the plot kicks in with its psychosexual overtones, homoerotic undertones, and violence. Fueled by sharp performances from Velez, Swaby, Hugh Nees as a helpless lawyer, Rachel Spaght as Eddie’s long-suffering wife, and Angel Torres as the plot’s principled deus ex machina, Darryl V. Jones’ staging roars along nicely until it has to make a case for Eddie as something other than a jerk, at which point Vince Brown’s raging but unshaded performance becomes a handicap. Tony Cisek’s wraparound slum, and Marianne Meadows’ shadow-filled lighting provide atmosphere to the max. At 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Thursday, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; matinee at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Source Theater, 1835 14th St. NW. $10-25. (202) 462-1073. (Bob Mondello)