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‘Heroes’ not quite super

(Janice Steinberg, San Diego Union-Tribune) One suspects that the multiple French and British awards for “Heroes,” the 2003 play by French dramatist Gérald Sibleyras, with an English adaptation by no less a theatrical luminary than Tom Stoppard, came from moments of subtlety and quick verbal exchanges. Subtlety and quickness are rare, however, in the North Coast Repertory Theatre’s production, which opened last weekend.

The North Coast Rep strip-mines the humor in this story about three veterans of World War I passing their days in an old soldiers’ home. Director David Ellenstein dwells heavily on physical comedy, milking the men’s creaky attempts at calisthenics and stopping the action every time Philippe (Jonathan McMurty) slumps into unconsciousness, the result of a war wound.

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