The Quality of Life: Moving Drama of Life and Death From American Conservatory Theater
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The last date listed for The Quality of Life was Sunday November 23, 2008 / 2:00pm.
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In this modern masterwork -- critically praised as a unique mix of Oscar Wilde and Bertolt Brecht -- the great Irish writer George Bernard Shaw pits a military industrialist against his crusading daughter. She's a Salvation Army major; he's an arms manufacturer and whiskey distiller -- on certain issues, they could not disagree more. But when he begins donating money to her organization, matters come to a head as the characters grapple with questions of business, faith, family and philanthropy. After 16 years, A.C.T. brings Shaw back to the stage with this co-production with Theatre Calgary, one of A.C.T.'s favorite Canadian collaborators, featuring an international cast of Canadian and American actors. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from dance fan
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This is a play for smart, grown-ups. Ones who’ve experienced the full circle of love and loss, be it for a person, a house or (most relevant to this week in the Bay Area) a job or retirement nest egg.
The story could have easily devolved into a red state-blue state farce; however, Jane Anderson’s deft writing/directing and the chemistry of this ensemble prevents them from becoming caricatures.
The all-star cast dazzles. Laurie Metcalf steals the show as a hippy dippy, smart-mouthed sprite who flits around the outside of the yurt (incredible set design!) entertaining her cousins, comforting her husband, and alternatively stirring up the philosophical pot.
The first preview was more polished than any other Bay Area show I’ve seen this year. A little over two hours (with one intermission). Take your tissues and see it with your therapist or someone you love…it’s too intense for a first date.
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Finally a play in San francisco that causes you to examine the grief of death and realize that there is no one absolute best or correct way to grieve, but we must all arrive at our own equally valid path of dealing with this part of life.
Quotes & Highlights
- "Anderson is blessed with an amazing, adventurous cast, willing to slide off slippery emotional slopes and round dangerous curves to get to the truth." --Theatermania.com
A daring, star-studded cast explores hot-button issues of life and death in this riveting new tour-de-force, featuring Laurie Metcalf (Desperate Housewives, Roseanne), JoBeth Williams (Poltergeist, The Big Chill), Steven Culp (A.C.T.'s Blackbird), and two-time OBIE Award winner Dennis Boutsikaris. When a religious Midwestern couple, Bill and Dinah, visit free-spirited cousin Jeannette and her husband, Neil, in their Northern California home, both couples confront loss and survival in the face of explosive circumstance. An unforgettable, brave work of heart and humor by Emmy Award–winning playwright-director Jane Anderson, The Quality of Life was nominated for four 2007 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards and six 2008 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards.