Browsed by
Author: Ben Sloan

“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…

Read More Read More

“It Can’t Happen Here”—Sinclair Lewis Fires Up Berkeley Rep

“It Can’t Happen Here”—Sinclair Lewis Fires Up Berkeley Rep

A Depression Era Play Takes Us Back to the Future by Benjamin K. Sloan I wish that all people of my generation, ages 18-25, could watch Berkeley Rep’s “It Can’t Happen Here.” Maybe we are in denial, angsty young liberals secretly yearning for a decent reason to protest. We want to protect the historic claims that have defined Berkeley. But, protesting and long Facebook manifestos will not save us from four years of idiocracy and bigotry under you know who….

Read More Read More

Experimental “Othello” by Director Eric Ting at Cal Shakes

Experimental “Othello” by Director Eric Ting at Cal Shakes

Dressed-Down Tragedy Exposes Modern Misogyny by Benjamin K. Sloan Eric Ting’s bare stage “Othello” at Cal Shakes modernizes Elizabethan issues from 500 years ago for the U.S. in 2016. Shakespeare’s exposure of racial hatred, blatant misogyny, and Islamic degradation are exposed and examined in this ambitious, experimental production. The players are dressed in sweats and hoodies, as if at rehearsal on a bare stage.  Ting makes a point of dressing his players as if they were going out to the…

Read More Read More

“Speed of Light” at Quantum Dragon, S.F.

“Speed of Light” at Quantum Dragon, S.F.

Space Race vs. Galactic Disaster in the Mission by Benjamin K. Sloan & Barry David Horwitz As soon as the play “Speed of Light” by Sci-Fi writer Bella Poynton begins, with its simple, logarithmic set, papered with equations, it becomes clear that director Sam Tillis  is facing a steep challenge. He is producing a science fiction play that is full of profound emotions, without the otherworldly special effects that make sci-fi movies so alluring and exciting. Tillis is clearly a…

Read More Read More