It's not too often that great passion doomed--make that Great Passion Doomed--hits the boards. There's Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra and Cyrano de Bergerac and West Side Story with its Romeo and Juliet bow. Add to the list, though maybe not quite on that lofty level but nothing to turn a nose up at, either--James McManus's Cherry Smoke.
Plucking the dialogue pretty much verbatim from his best-selling book, Steinbeck handily transferred his tale to the stage. Again George and Lennie -- traveling together like the scores of other bindlestiffs scouring California's Salinas Valley (Steinbeck's version of William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County) for work -- arrive at a farm for barley bucking activity.