On Wednesday, Stoppard's "Rock 'n' Roll" opened at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater, the play's first post-Broadway outing. I saw it on Wednesday, taking last-minute advantage of ACT's "Pay What You Wish" program.
It's a solid production of a play that doesn't rank among my favorites. The sets, lighting and sound design are especially impressive. I found the male lead, Manoel Felciano as Jan, to be problematic. Perhaps he was merely tired after Opening Night, but his energy level seemed off and he didn't connect with his counterparts as he should have. Jack Willis was more in the groove as Max, the aging Marxist professor, and his scenes with Rene Augesen as his dying wife/regretful daughter were beautifully handled.
In the Friday San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Hurwitt gave the production an enthusiastic review. On his blog, Chronicle movie critic Mick LaSalle takes special note of Augesen's performance.
Pat Craig at the Contra Costa Times had good things to say about this "Rock 'n' Roll," as did Lee Hartgrave at BeyondChron. Chad Jones at The Examiner was equally positive in his appraisal.
If you have tickets, be sure to take a moment to read the timeline printed in the program. The historical context is greatly helpful.