Saturday May 25, 2013 / 8:00pmArcadia
How was your experience?
I'm a huge fan of Stoppard's plays, so what occurred during the performance I attended (Saturday night, May 25) was a devastating disappointment. The understudy Robert Parsons was tapped to play a major role (Nightingale), and he did one of the most awful jobs of acting I've ever seen. He *literally* read his lines from papers he carried with him during the second act. It was distracting, it interfered with other actors' performances, it muddled the story line, and it dragged down the show to the extent it was almost impossible to enjoy the elements of the production that were good. I don't think this low caliber of performance is acceptable at a theatre like the ACT at any time, but, given that the show had opened nine days earlier (and thus there was time for understudy rehearsals), there was simply no excuse. Even with the discounted ticket, going to this play was a time-consuming and expensive endeavor for those of us with more limited incomes: the long drive, the dealing with unusually bad traffic in and leading up to San Francisco that evening, the cost of the ticket itself, and the cost of parking. I think ACT owes us all our money back.