It should feel heart-throbbingly poignant. But it comes off as curiously unsatisfying and even cheap.

Greenberg is a very smart writer who writes really smart plays with really smart characters. But, as evidenced by the ending of Our Mother’s Brief Affair, even a playwright of his considerable stature is capable of shooting a blank.

 

Our Mother’s Brief Affair at South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 708-5555. Tues.-Wed., 7:30 p.m.; Thurs.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. Through May 3. $20-$70.

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