photo: Sandra Coudert
Two down-and-out middle-aged men beg for a living in the city along a wall called the Post No Bills, so named for its one painted sign, in Mando Alvarado's formulaic but absorbing play currently at Rattlestick. As soon the more shut-down of the two, a once moderately famous musician, begrudgingly takes a toughened teenage street girl under his wing we generally know where the relationship (and the story) will go. Despite this, the play is almost consistently compelling - the acting is nuanced and involving (Teddy Canez is especially excellent as the pained, gruff musician) and the playwright gets a lot of humor out of the characters. The play is punctuated with brief musical performances of the unpretty soul-baring kind that add welcome texture and mood. While there are some plot points in the second act that I didn't buy, and more than a few moments that seem underdeveloped (mostly with the play's two supporting characters) there is more often the ring of truth in the play's details.