Nelson Mandela is indeed free. Someone tell the anarchistic do-gooders in the first show of Blackbird Theatre Company’s inaugural season, Nicky Silver’s “The Altruists.” This tongue-in-cheek send-up to a generation of young radicals that care more about fire bombs and protests than the causes they rally for is an ideal fit for a company that stands behind a mission of critiquing contemporary culture. Jabbing satire is Mr. Silver’s weapon of choice and he has crafted a play that is still as relevant as when it premiered in 2000. Director Danielle M. Holtz creates hilarious moments with a strong ensemble that rivals the work of some longer established theaters in this town. The comic delivery is at times too heavy-handed but when the cast warms up they click. Helen Manasses Atkins’ friendly soap star is deliciously melodramatic and Collin Geraghty’s hopped-up hustler is naïve and delicate. Blackbird, keep it up. (William Scott)
At the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, (773)935-6860. This production is now closed.