SCENE BREAKER: Crime-com gets the fingers, an actress goes to shul and snow isn’t supposed to make noise, is it?

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Here’s what’s behind the curtain this week in Tampa Bay theater...

HOW TO SAY “MERRY CHRISTMAS” IN HEBREW: For the past half-year, actress Georgina McKee (American Stage Company’s My Name Is Asher Lev) has been a tutee in speaking Modern Hebrew, her prep to portray an Israeli in Jason Odell Williams’ comedy Handle with Care opening at Stageworks Theatre this weekend. McKee’s character speaks only Hebrew in most of her dialog scenes, but at some points also speaks English, which producers were relieved to discover she spoke fluently without instruction. Stageworks describes the play as “the perfect Jewish Christmas story,” while The New York Times pegged the recent Off-Broadway production as “a hilarious and heartwarming romantic comedy about an inept package deliverer who loses an Israeli grandmother’s corpse in a Virginia parking lot on a snowy Christmas Eve,” and honestly, who hasn’t been down that road?

PHELICITOUS PHALANGES PHIND: Peter Straughan’s Brit crime comedy Bones requires “a briefcase full of fingers” according to producer Michael Murphy, who was lucky enough to score hundreds of plastic digits at a post-Halloween sale. Opening Thursday at Ybor’s recently renovated Silver Meteor Gallery performance space, the play takes place in the “seedy underworld of 1960s Gateshead,” and involves a porn cinema, the infamous Kray twins, an unspecified degree of “violence and mayhem,” the fingers and God-only-knows what else.

“SNOW” IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN GOD HAS BRONCHITIS: Among the changes in freeFall Theatre’s fourth-annual outing for the musical Dickens-a-palooza A Christmas Carol (now playing) is a spanking new snow machine. The gadgets used in prior years tended to “sputter, cough and wheeze,” according to freeFall, but the new one invokes the required temperate-zone nostalgia without adding the unintentional subtext of mid-Victorian lung disease.

MO LAFFS: American Stage’s current production of Neil Simon’s quasi-autobiographical comedy Laughter on the 23rd Floor has been extended through December 21. CL theater critic Mark Leib gives the production three stars.

Got a tip for SCENE BREAKER? Email Scene Breaker in care of A&E Editor Julie Garisto, [email protected]

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