Those who seek to understand the state of American playwriting should peruse the work of Annie Baker, one of its most lauded practitioners. A winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur “genius” grant, Baker sticks closely to what has proved a winning formula in Infinite Life (at the Linda Gross Theater through October 8). Like many of her previous efforts, this one has no plot; features ordinary, relatable characters fumbling through discussions of various topics in naturalistic dialogue that delivers nothing like profundity or wit; revels in lengthy pauses; and glances at several themes without much effort to shape them, leaving the audience to suss out what the play is about. Baker’s scattershot dialogue doesn’t lead anywhere, perhaps because developing her ideas in any dedicated way would reveal that they’re fatuous.


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