The Theater: Ping Pong Philosopher

British Playwright Tom Stoppard chain-smokes ideas like cigarettes and emits the smoke with puffs of mirth. The latest display of his intellectual curiosity, verbal agility and quirky sense of humor is Jumpers (TIME, March 11), a comedy currently on view at Manhattan's Billy Rose Theater. Jumpers is a philosophical roller coaster careering dizzyingly along the parallel tracks of wit and logic over such subjects as the existence or nonexistence of God, the nature of good and evil, and the interdependence of ethics and metaphysics.

It is a breath-stopping ride. Among the passengers are George,...