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Raised in Captivity

(Vineyard Theatre): Playwright Nicky Silver, who received acclaim for last season's ''Pterodactyls,'' has garnered similar raves for this Off Broadway comedy. Silver's plays are not without an anarchic wit, but they are so relentlessly energetic in their attempts at eccentricity and outrageousness that they play like overlong sketches. This work, yet another absurdist fable about a dysfunctional family, concerns a celibate gay man and his sister, who are reunited when their mother is killed (by an exploding shower head). Other characters include a shrink, who blinds herself out of guilt; the sister's husband, a dentist who ''hates teeth'' and who longs to be an artist; and the convicted murderer, with whom the brother develops a relationship. Well-acted and directed, but for adventurous theater- goers only.

Jack's Holiday

(Playwrights Horizons): Randy Courts and Mark St. Germain (''Gift of the Magi,'' ''Johnny Pye and the Fool Killer'') theorize about what might have happened during a supposed visit that Jack the Ripper paid to New York in 1891. This lavish Off Broadway musical is ''Sweeney Todd'' type of seriousness, but the book and music never rise above the level of mundane. A large cast gives its all, and director Susan H. Schulman has made the production flow seamlessly, aided by the set designs and projection effects of Jerome Sirlin.

Swingtime Canteen

(The Blue Angel): Set during World War II, this musical presents an evening of entertainment as it might have been given by an all-girl band from the Hollywood Canteen. Five performers (Alison Fraser, Debra Barsha, Emily Loesser, Marcy McGuigan, Jackie Sanders) deliver with verve nearly three dozen vintage 1940s songs, interrupted by a campy book written by, among others, Charles Busch. The songs are great (''Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,'' ''I'll Be Seeing You,'' ''Sing Sing Sing,'' etc.), but the evening will appeal most to those with nostalgic memories of the era.

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