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“Arcadia”—A Lively & Witty Mystery, at Shotgun Players, Berkeley

“Arcadia”—A Lively & Witty Mystery, at Shotgun Players, Berkeley

Tom Stoppard Plants Modern Mirror in Romantic Garden by Joanna G. Harris & Barry David Horwitz Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia,” wittily directed by Patrick Dooley, pits history against fantasy, with scenes flashing back and forth between an elegant English country house in 1809 and in 1992. It’s a brilliant movie technique, transferred to the stage at Shotgun Players. In Dooley’s clever staging, people 200 years apart get to mingle and converse across time. We get to go Back to the Future–and…

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“Arcadia” Paints a Bleak, Loveless Future, at Shotgun Players, Berkeley

“Arcadia” Paints a Bleak, Loveless Future, at Shotgun Players, Berkeley

When we can keep up with them, the characters dazzle with their wit. They recite poetry. They ponder, to nihilistic ends, Newtonian determinism, the new science of thermodynamics, and the mathematics of grouse populations, derived from centuries of records in the game book, a.k.a., Things on the Estate That Have Been Shot. They fuck, they cheat, they plan to duel. (The action stays wholly off stage.)

“Dancing Lessons” Shimmies and Shakes, at Center REP, Walnut Creek

“Dancing Lessons” Shimmies and Shakes, at Center REP, Walnut Creek

Millennial Notes Mark St. Germain Asks: Do We Have the Strength to Change? by Beau McGlasson Dance is pure human expression. It’s the carefree wildness of a club at 1 A.M., the controlled passion of tango. You can dance on your own to Robyn or tangle yourself in your lover’s arms. Dancing expresses frustration or liberation. “Dancing Lessons,” the hilarious play by Mark St. Germain at Center REP, poignantly examines two people—a dancer who has injured her leg and a…

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“An Entomologist’s Love Story” Magnifies Dating Wars, at S.F. Playhouse

“An Entomologist’s Love Story” Magnifies Dating Wars, at S.F. Playhouse

Millennial Notes Melissa Ross Explores Funny Female Tactics by Tyler Jeffreys “An Entomologist’s Love Story” by Melissa Ross pits the feminist woman against the traditional woman in today’s Dating Wars. As Betty, Lori Prince changes her voice from deep and raunchy to light and airy, while she lectures on the mating rituals of fireflies. Betty, the entomologist, explains how the female firefly of Species A imitates the mating signal of Species B.  When the B male flies over, she gobbles…

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