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"Jumpers" at ACT

Somehow, by a series of decisions that each seemed quite reasonable at the time, we've ended up with season tickets to three different professional theater companies at the same time. We started out with Seattle Rep, because we'd heard of it before and we wanted an excuse to get us over into Seattle from time to time. Then, after that season ended, we picked up an Intiman subscription to tide us over the late spring, summer, and early fall, until Seattle Rep came back around on the guitar. Finally, we got a mailer from ACT (A Contemporary Theater) for their season, which included "Jumpers", a Tom Stoppard play that neither Kathleen nor I had ever seen. So, of course, we had to sign up for that, too.

Tonight, at last, was "Jumpers" night, and what a play it was. Apparently, after The National Theatre produced Stoppard's first play, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead", they told him they'd put on whatever he wrote next, giving him essentially free rein.

Hoo boy.

Stoppard took that freedom and ran with it, literally to the moon and back, with this bizarre combination of hard-core philosophical debate (intuitionism vs. logical positivism, for those keeping score) and surreal farce. It's quite a ride and you'd better be paying close attention to the details of the arguments; there's a quiz-cum-coda at the end.

David Pichette puts on a truly remarkable performance as the second-rate (but passionate) intuitionist philosopher George Moore (no relation to the earlier, realer, and better known intuitionist of the same name). He so effortlessly carries the incredibly long and intricate speeches that it was no surprise at all to find out later that he actually appears to have some background in this area.

Unfortunately, tonight was closing night, so I can't really urge you to grab this rare opportunity to see this impressive play performed so well. You'll just have to live with being disappointed to have missed it.