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Steven Culp in "The Real Thing"

September 24 - October 27, 1985

Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh, PA

Playwright by Tom Stoppard
Directed by Lee Sankowich

Billy - Steven Culp
Annie - Helen Ruoti
Brody - Don Fisher
Charlotte - Mary Beth Fisher
Henry - Thomas A. Stewart
Debbie - Mary O'Sullivan
Max - Robert Moberly

The Pittsburgh Press


The play begins with Max and Charlotte, a couple whose marriage seems about to rupture. But nothing one sees on a stage is the real thing, and some things are less real than others. Charlotte is an actress who has been appearing in a play about marriage by her husband, Henry. Max, her leading man, is also married to an actress, Annie. Both marriages are at the point of rupture because Henry and Annie have fallen in love. But is it the real thing? In The Real Thing, Tom Stoppard combines his characteristically brilliant wordplay and wit with flashes of insight that illuminate the nature--and the mystery--of love, creating a multi-toned play that challenges the mind while searching out the innermost secrets of the heart.


The play focuses upon Henry, who is a successful playwright. Henry is married to an actress, Charlotte, who is playing the lead in his current play; he has fallen in love with another actress, Annie, for whom he soon leaves Charlotte. But is his new love "the real thing?" Underlying the major themes of love and adultery are related concerns. Does art influence life? Can life imitate art (the converse of the proverb "art imitates life")? Must art have a political and social value, as many people in Britain were then arguing, or can it stand alone, as art for art's sake? Stoppard argues that intellectuals are taking political expression for literature, and he makes a strong case that art should be valued for its aesthetic merits alone.

(September 7, 1985, News Record)

The Pittsburgh Public Theater has announced five diverse works for production during the llth subscription season'.

The 1985-86 season opens Sept. 24 at the theater in Allegheny Square with the regional premier of Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing," winner of four Tony Awards in 1984, including Best Play and hailed as the Best Play of the Year by the New York Drama Critics; the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle In "The Real Thing."

Stoppard ex-' to put diversity on stage plores the trials of love, marriage and fidelity with wit, thought-provoking humor and sparkle, as a couple learns that their passion and concern for the other is "The Real Thing." Frank Rich of The New York Times called it "so densely and entertainly packed with with ideas and feelings that one visit just won't do."

(September 11, 1985, Observer Reporter)

Pittsburgh Public Theatre will present the regional theater debut of Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing" with low-priced previews beginning Sept. 24 and the opening on Oct. 2. It runs through Oct. 27.

Winner of four Tony Awards, the play will star Helena Ruoti and Thomas A. Stewart along with Robert Moberly, Steven Culp, Don Fisher, Mary Beth Fisher and Mary O'Sullivan.

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