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Man and Superman 

When: Jan. 24-Feb. 2 2014
Blackbird Theater’s ever-thoughtful play selection continues on the heels of recent productions of works by Mamet, Sondheim, Stoppard and other major talents. The company dips much further into the theatrical past for this 1903 George Bernard Shaw classic, yet Shaw’s dramatic brilliance and general social prescience have given his best plays something of a paradoxical quality: a permanent timelessness. This satire concerns the relationship between a political activist and confirmed bachelor, John Tanner, and Ann Whitefield, a charming schemer intent on marriage. What is essentially a romantic comedy — with some serious parody of sexual politics — is interrupted by a debate set in hell, where the Devil himself spars with Don Juan (Tanner) on heavy philosophical matters, such as, oh, the very purpose of mankind. Judicious cuts in the script were carefully negotiated amongst the production/dramaturgy team to bring the play to a reasonable running time without sacrificing meaning. The cast of 16 brings both talent and experience to the fore, and features Blackbird co-founder Wes Driver, Evelyn O’Neal Brush, Sam Whited and Kris Wente. Beki Baker directs.
— Martin Brady


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