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REVIEW: ‘The Road to Mecca’ eventually glows

The thankless part of Elsa, an unhappy firebrand forever seeking a furnace, is shouldered by Carla Gugino, who is fairly tiresome. (It’s a shame that Roundabout could not persuade Harris’s marvelous daughter, Jennifer Ehle, to support her mom in the show.) Hopefully, Roundabout will provide the gifted Gugino with a juicy starring role in the future for her acting pains here.

If memory serves, Jim Dale’s gently-spoken but anxious depiction of the kindly minister registers as a far more compassionate soul than Fugard himself, who appeared in the original Off Broadway premiere and was mighty dour about it.

Travelling “The Road to Mecca” is rocky at first, but the scenery is outstanding and the outcome proves to be worthy of the journey.

“The Road to Mecca” continues through March 4 at American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St., New York. Call (212) 719-1300 or visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.

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