The TAG production Carol Shield's Thirteen Hands brought back a lot of memories. My mother belonged to a bridge club, as do the women in this play, and I remember being kept up by the sound of hysterical laughter, the acrid smell of cigarette smoke wafting up the stairs and that sickly sweet (but delicious) taste of bridge mix. However, I don't think you need to have had any experience with bridge to enjoy this work, since it is at heart a celebration of women and friendship. The story, which spans several generations, is told in a series of vignettes. Some of the most memorable are: four teens smoking up and discussing how different their lives will be from their mothers'; four near-strangers speaking cordially across the bridge table yet revealing their inner thoughts to the audience; and a poignant four-generation bridge game. Kudos for the great acting and clever staging.
Feb 18-20 and Feb 24-27, 8pm; Feb 21 and 27, 2pm; Pond Playhouse,
6 Parkhill Drive, $16/$13, 451-1221, ticketatlantic.com