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Author: Ben Sloan

“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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“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….

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