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Culture, Stage Salvage at Last: Shotgun Players Arrives at Its Final Stoppard Frontier

Salvage at Last: Shotgun Players Arrives at Its Final Stoppard Frontier

Art and politics are bedfellows in Shotgun Player's presentation of Salvage, the third play in Tom Stoppard's Tony Award-winning trilogy, The Coast of Utopia. Brave in scope, anchored by the human desire to escape ideological oppression, the production grapples with…
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Film, "Anna Karenina": Now with Extra Artifice

"Anna Karenina": Now with Extra Artifice

Joe Wright's dust-blowing new adaptation of Anna Karenina faces a towering mountain of precedent: not only the greatest novel by the man Nabokov called "the greatest Russian writer of prose fiction," but the whole checkered history of Leo Tolstoy at…
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Culture, Stage “A Picasso” deals with fascism, criticism, and art

“A Picasso” deals with fascism, criticism, and art

"Analyze this painting as if you were a critic," a Nazi says to Picasso. "Alright," the artist replies. "Give me a blindfold." So much for endearing yourself to critics. The tradition of ripping on reviewers is long and richly deserved,…
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Culture, Stage "Travesties": Tom Stoppard's brainy getaway at Marin Shakespeare

"Travesties": Tom Stoppard's brainy getaway at Marin Shakespeare

July brings an annual dry spell to San Francisco theater, with most of the city's companies on hiatus until the fall. If, however, you're one of those lucky city dwellers unafflicted by gephyrophobia — that is, the fear of crossing…
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Calendar, Night&Day And the Band Played On

And the Band Played On

Such is the state of anti-touchy-feelyness nowadays that it’s worth noting when The New York Times calls something “triumphantly sentimental.” Especially when that something is a play by Tom Stoppard, known more for cerebral puzzlers like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are…
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News, Feature

Fall Theater Events

Rock 'n' RollTom Stoppard's story of "Prague's rock revolution." Fans of Pink Floyd will appreciate the exploration of the life of the band's late founder Syd Barrett, who spent his final years as a mad recluse. Sept. 11-Oct. 12 at…
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Culture, Stagecap

Duck Soup

Do you like your theater emotionally resonant with subtle yet piercing social and political insights that would give Tom Stoppard pause? Then neither this show nor really anything else that graces The Dark Room's minuscule stage is right for you.…
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Culture, Stagecap


It's hard not to walk out of a Tom Stoppard play and not feel poorly educated. During Travesties' 2 1/2 hours, Stoppard nimbly sprints through Marxism, socialism, dadaism, nihilism, imperialism, expressionism, and cubism, then wraps it all up with a…
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Calendar, Night&Day Un-Stoppard


In Tom Stoppard's Travesties, an unreliable narrator named Henry Carr sums up the themes of the play this way: "Firstly, you're either a revolutionary or you're not, and if you're not, you might as well be an artist as anything…
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Culture, Stage Literary Sampling

Literary Sampling

The happiest game Tom Stoppard has played onstage may be Travesties, his 1974 blender-spin of 20th-century revolutionaries who all lived in Zurich in 1917. James Joyce, writing Ulysses; Tristan Tzara, developing dada; and Vladimir Lenin, receiving news of a distant…
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Culture, Stage

Rush Limbaugh in Night School

Charlie Varon has revived and revamped his hilarious 1994 solo tour de force, a satire that may owe more than a little to Tom Stoppard's Travesties (see above), about Rush Limbaugh and a cast of mostly still-relevant national figures from…
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Calendar, Performance Musical Theater

Musical Theater

ONGOING 12/1-1/2 We're barely out of November, and already the stores are buzzing with holiday cheer -- which too often takes the form of agonizing and repetitive Christmas tunes played on a seemingly endless loop. If you're digging the season,…
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Culture, Stage The Real Fling

The Real Fling

René Augesen walks on as a London blonde in jeans and a trendy green coat, boots and a scarf, looking dangerously excited. "I'm in the mood to push it," she says to her lover Henry, after his wife and her…
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Culture, Stage


Tom Stoppard's masterful play, set on an English estate, deals with a brilliant teenager, Thomasina Coverly, who in 1812 jots down a series of equations that anticipate chaos theory. Her tutor is a friend of Lord Byron. More than 180…
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Culture, Stage Foreign Correspondents

Foreign Correspondents

First, a funny story: On opening night of Night and Day, Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein sat behind the play's director, Carey Perloff, and when an Englishwoman onstage made a crack about journalism -- "Perhaps I'll get him a reporter doll…
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Culture, Stage Taking Wing

Taking Wing

Last year Susannah Schulman played Juliet at the California Shakespeare Festival as a glossy-eyed mall girl in the blush of first love -- wisecracking, calculating, and spoiled. That's wrong for Juliet, who needs a touch of naiveté, but for the…
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Culture, Stage A.E.I.O.U.


The last time one of Tom Stoppard's plays had its American premiere in San Francisco, last spring, I wrote that it "wouldn't be above Stoppard to spin a whole script around a minor and meaningless point of grammar." My point…
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Culture, Stage

News From the Colonies

Indian Ink. By Tom Stoppard. Directed by Carey Perloff. Produced by the American Conservatory Theater. Starring Susan Gibney, Jean Stapleton, Ken Grantham, Art Malik, and Firdous Bamji. At the Geary Theater, 415 Geary (at Mason), through March 21. Call 749-2ACT.…
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Calendar, Night&Day

Night + Day

Wednesday February 17 It's InEVITAble Divas are well-loved in these parts, so when Alan Parker assembled a diva trinity -- Eva Peron, Madonna, and Andrew Lloyd Webber -- in his 1996 film version of the musical Evita, local viewers lined…
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Culture, Stage

Power Stirring

Early in the first scene of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia (now in its West Coast premiere in a splendid ACT production directed by Carey Perloff), a brilliant 13-year-old observes to her youthful tutor, "You cannot stir things apart." Thomasina (Tina Jones)…
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