"Madagascar" ★★★

There's a difference between a secret and a mystery. With the former, the answer must merely be uncovered. With the latter, finality can be eternally elusive. Set in a hotel room in Rome, the J.T. Rogers drama "Madagascar" is like a puzzle — with secrets, not mysteries. We meet three different Americans: A young tour guide (Cora Vander Broek), her mother (Carmen Roman) and an economics professor (Mick Webber). A young man with connections to Africa has disappeared, upending three lives. This "Madagascar" is just a tad too clinical and cool in places, but it's still a stimulating piece about three wealthy, neurotic Americans trying and failing to connect. Through Feb. 27 at Next Theatre, 927 Noyes St., Evanston; $25-$40 at 847-475-1875 and nexttheatre.org - CHRIS JONES
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