Larceny Makes the World Go 'Round

Bill English pilfers from Sam Mendes, with mixed results.

Lauren English's performance is too large for SF Playhouse's small space.
Zabrina Tipton
Lauren English's performance is too large for SF Playhouse's small space.

Details

Book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander. Through Sept. 20. Tickets are $40-$55; call 677-9596 or visit www.sfplayhouse.org.
SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter (at Powell), S.F.

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While there's truth to the saying "All art is theft" — and Mendes himself filched inspiration for his version from the world of nightclubs — there's a difference between appropriating others' ideas and spinning them into something bold, new, and true and merely rehashing secondhand concepts. If SF Playhouse's engaging if ultimately unsatisfying production of Cabaret does anything, it reaffirms Picasso's famous edict that "good artists copy; great artists steal."

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