Yet anyone who looked hard enough could always see the fragile, hopeful heart beneath the cerebral glitter in Mr. Stoppard’s work during the past 40 years, from “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” (1967) to “The Coast of Utopia” (produced on Broadway last year). Now, for theatergoers who find looking hard to be a strain, there is “Rock ’n’ Roll,” which opened last night at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater under the direction of Trevor Nunn.I don't know enough about Stoppard to judge his Advancement, but I do know that the title of this play is awesome.
At the play’s center is Jan (Rufus Sewell), a Czech university student and a man who the Czech-born, English-educated Mr. Stoppard has said is a might-have-been alter ego: the self he might have been had he returned to live in his homeland. A protégé of Max (Brian Cox), a growling lion of a professor at Cambridge, Jan leaves England for Prague when the city is occupied by Soviet tanks in 1967. His motives, he says, are to save 1) his mother and 2) socialism. Still, his greatest love lies in the grooved vinyl of the only possessions he takes with him: a collection of records by groups like the Rolling Stones, the Velvet Underground, the Fugs and especially Pink Floyd.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Somebody wants to be considered Advanced (NY Times):