This Hecht-MacArthur comedy is set in the observation car of the Twentieth Century Limited a luxury transcontinental express passenger train operated by the New York Central Railroad from 1902-1967. It was intended for upper class passengers who wanted to red carpet treatment when they traveled from New York City to Chicago. It was famous for its speed (a 16 ½ hour journey @ 60 miles per hour and its plush decor.

The play, adapted by Ken Ludwig,tells the tale of Oscar Jaffe (Dan Hiatt), a Broadway impresario whose career is on the skids. He cooks up a scheme to get his former lover and current film star, Lily Garland (Rebecca Dines) to agree to star in his next production. The two are on board the Twentieth Century along with a lot of other wacky characters and the result is a classic screwball comedy set in 1930's with all the glorious costuming and set variation that implies. The pace is like lightening, the cast superb and the laughs simply do not stop. This is farce at its best and anyone who loves to laugh should not miss the experience.
I cannot praise the production enough, and it is one you must see to appreciate. Words cannot do it justice
TWENTIETH CENTURY continues through February 8 at the MountainVview Center for a the Arts, 500 Castro Street, in Mountain View
For more information or tickets call 650 903 6000 or visit www/

Marin Theatre Company presents:

I saw this play the day Barack Obama was inaugurated as president of the United States. I thought it appropriate that on this day so many felt was momentous for all people of color, Anthol Fugard's magnificent work opened our eyes to the real need of those among us who been victimized by racism. MY COUNTRY! MY AFRICA! takes place in 1985 South Africa, during a period of intense and often violent anti-Apartheid protests and boycotts. The plot line follows the friendship of two teenagers. Thami, (Lloyd Roberson II) a gifted and independent black student, and Isabel, (Laura Morache) a white prep school student who compete in a rare interracial debate at Thamis school. Their teacher, Mr. M (L. Peter Callender) struggles to lift his students above the strife and violence that is boiling in their black township. “I feed hope to young people,” he says. “Confucius tells us 'Follow your heart without fear of transgression.' “
Yet he knows the dangers of the lessons he is trying to teach his children. He knows how they can be twisted into an excuse to murder and destroy everything that education and understanding can build. He is determined to give his black students the tools they need to become themselves, and not force them to adopt white values and white methods to succeed in the lives that another culture values. He says to Thami, “You are a little boy with a good education. . . . My lessons were meant to teach you to live in this world. “
Thami replies, “There is no justice for black people in this country except that they make it for themselves.”
Mr. M, a dedicated realist in the midst of a revolution that can only mean slaughter of the people he loves, says, “If we aren't careful we might be remembered as a country where everyone arrived too late.”
In the end, when their teacher sacrifices himself because he is living the very values he has tried to instill in his pupils, Laura says, “The most terrible words are 'too late.' “for Mr. M and the teachers like him who gave everything so they could help their people rise above repression, it is heartening to know that here in the United States at least, we have taken that first step. We have ignored color and race to elect a man whom we believe can lead us out of the turmoil this country has suffered the past eight years.
The danger here is that we mistake Obama's political success with a new attitude toward black equality in this country. Our new president did exactly what Mr. M (and of course Anthol Fugard) warned against: he adopted the white man's values and is living the white man's life. He has had an education and intellectual and social advantages most white middle class children have not enjoyed. He has been trained in the same school created white leaders. Mr. M. was not speaking to men with the advantages Barack Obama had. He was trying to inspire children who lived in tin huts with no plumbing and who never knew such a thing as a book existed, much less the immense value that can be taken from reading one. He was showing them that there is a better, happier and easier way to live, but only they can achieve it with the tools education gives.
The acting, the writing, the entire production is superb theater. No intelligent person who seeks insight into the human condition should miss this magnificent play. Marin Theater is to be congratulated on bringing such thoughtful, intellectually challenging works to its stage. If you want to understand the world you live in, you need to see what Anton Fugard has to say about racial equality and the way to achieve it. We are not there yet; but we have begun.
My Children! My Africa! premiered at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1989 and has been performed since then worldwide. It speaks to us today in this century even louder and more forcefully that it possibly could have done in 1989 because we think we have come so far for so many when in reality, we have only bestowed equal opportunity on a very privileged few.

Athol Fugard is considered one of the worlds greatest playwrights. Best known for political plays opposing the South African system of apartheid, he has influenced international public opinion on the politics of South Africa and worldwide oppression. He has been working in the theater as a playwright, director, and actor since the mid-1950s.

My Country! My Africa! Continues through February 15, 2009.
For tickets and information visit or call 415.388.5208.
Marin Theatre Company is located at 397 Miller Ave, Mill Valley 94941.

Ticket Prices
Previews: Thu through Sun: $31
Regular Performances:
Tues: $31 in advance, or Pay-What-You-Can
Wed, Thu, & Sun Evenings: $34 & $41
Fri: $39 & $46
Sat Evenings: $44 & $51
Wed, Thu, Sat & Sun Matinées: $34 & $41

Discounts available:
Student tickets: $20, all performances
Senior discounts, varies by performance
RUSH tickets $10, available one-half hour prior to show, based on availability
Pay-What-You-Can Tuesdays

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