Theater: Trick and Treat

EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOR by Tom Stoppard Music by Andre Previn

If Tom Stoppard were not a playwright, he would probably be a magician—or a card shark. He delights in illusions and confusions, puns and verbal crostics, taking away with his left hand what he has just given with his right. In Every Good Boy Deserves Favor, at Washington's Kennedy Center, he has taken his art to its immediate limit: the play itself is a trick.

Actually, Every Good Boy Deserves Favor is not merely a play, but a play for actors and orchestra, and therein lies the trick. One...

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