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‘Tigers Be Still’ at Dobama Theatre captures the warmth, pathos of family life

(Christina Howry, Special to the Plain-Dealer) Playwrights didn’t invent the family unit, but they’ve certainly strip-mined that fertile theatrical territory for all it’s worth.

And why not? A family forces people of different ages, personalities and priorities to live together and care for each other. It’s a ready-made format for both laughter and disaster, as the two families in “Tigers Be Still” at Dobama Theatre demonstrate.

Happily, author Kim Rosenstock and director Marc Moritz find plentiful dark comedy and flickers of honest warmth beneath the onslaught of their characters’ eccentricities. This results in a production that is quite touching when it stops being self-consciously quirky.

Sherry is a hyper, newly minted art therapist who was in the dumps, having been unemployed for a month (insert here the rueful laughter of everyone currently unemployed for years). But she’s been hired by the local high school and is feeling upbeat.

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