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Annette Bening
Review: 'The Gift' wraps itself up in banalities
Review: 'The Gift' wraps itself up in banalities

An appealing and capable cast keeps the flicker of hope alive that Joanna Murray-Smith's play "The Gift" will be worth our time despite the mounting evidence to the contrary. But by the end of this 90-minute comedy even the actors seem done in by the effort of sustaining the illusion that there's something important going on. Murray-Smith, you might recall, is the Australian playwright who gave us "The Female of the Species," the low-wattage farce starring Annette Bening in the Geffen Playhouse's 2010 production. The author's latest, which opened at the Geffen on Wednesday, aspires to be a boulevard comedy in the Yasmina Reza vein, only kinder and...

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