Stage Review

Jumpers (2004 - 2004)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Opening Date: Apr 25, 2004; Lead Performance: Simon Russell Beale; Director: David Leveaux

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)

Originally posted May 07, 2004 Published in issue #764 May 07, 2004 Order article reprints