Late: A Cowboy Song By Sarah Ruhl

Too many character neuroses can spoil a good play. A leading man who repeatedly quotes It’s a Wonderful Life, for example, might be charming, but not one who channels Jimmy Stewart, takes lots of Polaroids, celebrates every holiday, and pontificates about Abstract Expressionism.

Writing plays about the socially awkward should be a foolhardy enterprise, yet that’s what Sarah Ruhl tends to do, and she won a 2006 MacArthur Genius grant for her efforts. In 2007, Woolly Mammoth hosted the premiere of Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Ruhl’s postmodern oddball comedy about 21st century communication. Late: A Cowboy Song is a few years older, and it feels like an example of an untamed genre-in-the-making, despite this excellent staging by No Rules Theatre Company, an ambitious young troupe in residence at Arlington’s Signature Theatre.

Chris Dinolfo and Sarah Olmsted Thomas star as Crick and Mary, grade-school sweethearts now living a Stepford-like existence as adult

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