And the Band Played On

Such is the state of anti-touchy-feelyness nowadays that it’s worth noting when The New York Times calls something “triumphantly sentimental.” Especially when that something is a play by Tom Stoppard, known more for cerebral puzzlers like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and The Coast of Utopia than for plumbing emotional depths. Stoppard’s Rock 'n’ Roll tells the tale of a Czech Ph.D student who leaves school in England to return to Prague for the 1968 Velvet Revolution. He brings his record collection, which provides a soundtrack of Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, the Fugs, and the Velvet Underground. The student’s adoration of the devil’s music ends up getting him in as much trouble as his politics, but by the end of the decade-spanning story it turns out the real life-changing force is love. Just like all those rock lyrics told us. Director Carey Perloff’s production of the Tony Award–nominated play stars San Francisco native Manoel Felciano, who, appropriately enough, used to hawk vinyl at Recycled Records on Haight Street.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Sept. 11. Continues through Oct. 12, 2008

 
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