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THEATER | "The Designated Mourner" 

"I am the designated mourner. I have to tell you that a very special little world has died, and I am the designated mourner." That's also the title of Wallace Shawn's unsparing, unsettling three-character drama, which tells of "a very special world" in which lives and art are unraveling, under siege in an unnamed but politically incendiary country. "The Designated Mourner" is raw and intellectually challenging — it's the very opposite of a "feel-good" play, but it's an affecting one. And while the play, directed by Roger Gans, is undoubtedly the thing, it won't hurt a bit that the three characters will be played by three of Rochester's best and most experienced actors: Michael Arve, Vicki Casarett, and Peter Doyle. You have only this weekend to see a show that should not be missed.

"The Designated Mourner" will be performed Thursday, February 18, through Sunday, February 21, at MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Avenue. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m.

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