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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
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Georgia Shakespeare1
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Average Rating Given : 4.50000
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REVIEWS

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Tom Stoppard
A Most Excellent Dead
Saturday, March 22, 2003
5.0
This is an outstanding production of one of Stoppard's earliest and more difficult works. The sharp, athletic cast turns on a heads-up dime under imaginative directing that makes even Stoppard's too-clever-by-half digressions amusing and clear (except for one word-play game which I know is in English but was hard to follow. Then again, I don't really understand what a "syllogism" is. I am ashamed).
Be that as it may, it's worth the bagful of quarters to see this show. It's funny, energetic, and beautifully acted. It seems to end about five times, due to Stoppard's writing, some blackouts, and a confusingly placed dance number, but when the next scene roars along with the utterly engaging R&G you get caught up in the action again. You see something like this, with its dazzling leaps through the void of mortality and back again, and you feel exhilirated by how well the mind and spirit of puny mortals can soar.

Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller
emerald death
Monday, August 5, 2002
4.0
I almost didn't go to this show, knowing it was almost 3 hours long, and having done the play in high school (so it was kind of force fed). Glad I went. This is an emerald of a play. Stripped to its simplicity, basic metaphor, and brutality, it makes no attempt to transform conventional, small-minded, limited, and deeply human Willy Loman into more than he is, any more than it attempts to make his typical suffering heroic. It's incredible that, decades ago, Arthur Miller could so flawlessly crystalize the damage, consequences, compassion, and destruction of blind devotion to The American Dream as he has in this play, a play which well holds up today despite great cultural upheavals. That the cast and director have the nerve to concentrate on the bare story rather than try to make it more entertaining is brave. The only directorial flaw I could see was when Bernard (?) questioned Willy about why Biff didn't take the summer course. He shouted at as if he were cross-examining, even though he knows this family friend is a sick old despairing man. He could have spoken softer. Other than that I have no complaints. I saw this on preview night, when the crowd rose to a standing ovation, which this play well deserves. The family interactions, Willy's brutality toward his wife, his thick-headedness, his desperate struggle to succeed and his obliviousness toward his own limitations and callousness, are warmly drawn, and the entire cast is up to the director's level, which is saying a lot. I hope this production will be extended or revived, though probably chances are slim.

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