Sunday, December 30, 2007


I shall be brief, mostly because the show has already closed. “Trumpery” is the story of a seminal moment in history: the publication of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” in which he first presented his theory of evolution and natural selection – and thereby stirred up a hornet’s nest that buzzes still.

Michael Cristofer is stunning as the old man himself, as hesitant as his stammer to publish his theory until he receives an essay from a younger colleague who has stumbled upon the same conclusions about natural selection as the means of the transmutation of species. Darwin’s friends George Hooker and Thomas Huxley convince him that he must forgo reticence and publish his findings or risk losing his place in history.

Overall, the play is well-done: wonderfully-acted and staged (Santo Loquasto comes through once more with a lovely set), but a bit stodgily-directed. There are times when the play seems to spin its wheels.

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