In olden days, Beck Center was the place where Kiwanis Club members and bowling ladies would go to attend revivals of The Odd Couple
. In the last few years, it's gone through a miraculous metamorphosis, turning into the area's most vital and profoundly alive theater. Just this season, it's dazzled with Sondheim, goosed audiences with the giddy Zombie Prom
, awed them with Ibsen, and won admiration with an admirable but misguided Arthur Miller production. To top it all off, it ended its season with a musical revue (Smokey Joe's Café
) of undiminished polish, pizzazz, and high spirits. Special congratulations go to artistic director Scott Spence for helping to nudge this institution into a golden age.