Too Hot to Touch

The Living Room continues its streak of tough dramas with its fourth production, Beirut. Written in 1987, Beirut’s story of plague and dangerous desire is an allegory for the AIDS epidemic. At the time, AIDS was even more than a death sentence; it also meant ostracism. And this subject wasn’t insignificant to the playwright, Alan Bowne. He died of AIDS at age 44, two years after Beirut’s premiere. Set in a fictional post-apocalyptic, totalitarian future, Beirut is a love story between a quarantined young man, who has tested positive for a nameless STD, and his uninfected girlfriend. The 55 minutes of yearning and struggle color every shade of the word provocative. The two-week run ends with tonight’s 8 p.m. performance at The Living Room (1818 McGee, 816-221-4260). Tickets are $15. See thelivingroomkc.com for more information.— Grace Suh

Mondays, Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 5, 10 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 6, 10 p.m. Starts: Nov. 1. Continues through Nov. 13, 2010