No Dice.

"How can we transform," asks the cast, "the universal cosmic murmur" that is everyday conversation? Nature Theater of Oklahoma, based in New York, answers with this distillation of 100 or so hours of conversations - beautifully performed and riveting in its second act.

OK, so No Dice is clearly trimmable - but stick it out; the payoff is fascinating and the performances, fabulous. Drinking, work problems, an urgent e-mail: A flotsam of subjects form the show's mosaic, in which patter takes weird turns and people fail to finish thoughts, just like ... normal. Put actors in theatrical dress and the conversations in a theatrical context, and the words are reborn. Assign those words to other actors, provide melancholy music (played live by Kristin Worrall), and they transform again.