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Author: Ben Sloan

“A Thousand Splendid Suns” Shines on Women, at A.C.T., S.F.

“A Thousand Splendid Suns” Shines on Women, at A.C.T., S.F.

Millennial Notes Sarma Adapts Aghan Novel in Spectacular Style by Ben Sloan American Conservatory Theater has succeeded in putting Khaled Hosseini’s best selling novel on the stage in grand fashion in a world premiere adaptation by Ursula Rani Sarma. Directed by Artistic Director Carey Perloff with epic splendor, the show recreates the story of “A Thousand Splendid Suns” with the allure of an actual voyage to the East.  The on stage story dazzles with its opulence and humanity, taking arms…

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“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Surprises, at Shotgun Players, Berkeley

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Surprises, at Shotgun Players, Berkeley

Millennial Notes Albee’s Cold War Couple Turns Hot by Benjamin K. Sloan     “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1962)—in the Shotgun Players wonderful new Repertory Season—takes us on a wild roller coaster ride. If you are an Edward Albee fan, or a virgin “Virginia Woolf” viewer, Shotgun aims to shock and surprise. And they pull the trigger. Shotgun uncovers hypocrisy and lies in the home of George and Martha, named after George and Martha Washington, our founding couple. Mark Jackson’s…

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“Safe House” Breaks for Freedom, at Aurora Theatre, Berkeley

“Safe House” Breaks for Freedom, at Aurora Theatre, Berkeley

Millennial Notes Black Lives, White Rules by Benjamin K. Sloan Before the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of African Americans were living in the South as “free” people—a status that constituted a misnomer, and still does.  Aurora Theatre tells us the horrifying story of pre-Civil War “free” Black people in “Safe House” (2014) by Keith Josef Adkins. Director L. Peter Callender snakes us through the treacherous Kentucky countryside in 1843, where the law is only a suggestion, and the white…

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“The Hard Problem” Bangs Heads at A.C.T. in S.F.

“The Hard Problem” Bangs Heads at A.C.T. in S.F.

Millennial Notes Tom Stoppard’s Battle Royale: Faith vs. Science by Benjamin K. Sloan Many millennials have a tendency to  assert  their “truth,” impatiently, like angsty preachers who get silenced by other soapbox orators. Tom Stoppard’s “The Hard Problem,” in its West Coast Premiere at the American Conservatory Theater, proves to be a delight for youthful questioning minds. The playwright forces us to analyze both sides of the conflict between religion and science. Director Carey Perloff offers us Stoppard’s educated alternative…

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