At first Charlie (Aaron Davidman) can't stand Clea (Heather Gordon), but soon he can't resist her.
Zabrina Tipton
At first Charlie (Aaron Davidman) can't stand Clea (Heather Gordon), but soon he can't resist her.

In addition to writing such theatrically nuanced stage plays as Omnium Gatherum (a Pulitzer finalist), View of the Dome, and The Butterfly Collection, Rebeck boasts a respected dual career as a TV writer for her contributions to the likes of N.Y.P.D. Blue and L.A. Law. As such, I'd like to think that she deliberately draws on the lexicon of daytime TV in The Scene for the purpose of dramatic metaphor. After all, the play's main themes —the superficiality of modern existence and our obsession with aspirational living over the real thing — criticize the very foundations upon which traditional soap operas are built; namely, viewers' desire to escape their humdrum lives and touch a televised fantasy world of beautiful heiresses arguing paternity rights with wealthy businessmen against a backdrop of warm mahogany paneling and potted yucca plants. SF Playhouse covered similar thematic territory in its 2004-2005 season with an engrossing revival of ART, Yasmina Reza's hit play about the pretentiousness of modern living. That production certainly wasn't hampered by S.O.S. Despite the company's brilliant casting and fluid staging, The Scene ends up looking more like a soap opera than behaving as a critique of one.

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