Lawrence Frascella
May 07, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Jumpers

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
run date
04/25/04-07/18/04
performer
Simon Russell Beale
director
David Leveaux
We gave it a B

This revival of Tom Stoppard’s cerebral 1972 comedy feels less like a play and more like a madman’s thesis. It focuses on a second-rate philosophy professor (Simon Russell Beale) and his jabbering attempts to write a lecture — while his gorgeous wife hides a dead body in her closet. Act 1 succumbs to some numbing verbal calisthenics. But Act 2 delivers an increasingly dazzling array of absurdities (including the arrival of Tarzan and the archbishop of Canterbury). Ultimately, director David Leveaux brings a genuine radiance to the idea of intellectual hysteria — and as best one can tell, that’s the point. (TC or TM)

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