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Forster’s “Maurice” at Frisco’s New Conservatory Theatre

For all that’s backward and wrong about the state of gay rights in this country, the lamentable thing is that it could be – and has been – far worse, and not very long ago, either. There isn’t much discussion of it now, but Great Britain didn’t decriminalize homosexual acts, and by extension homosexuality, until 1967, which you may also remember as the year that Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar at Monterey. All of which is to say that, yeah, strides have been made. And consider the fate of E.M. Forster’s 1914 masterpiece Maurice, which only saw publication in 1971 – after Forster’s death – because he wanted it to have a happy ending, and British law to that point negated that possibility. Well, Ed, it’s got a (reasonably) happy ending now. The stage version is up now at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, through March 25, with Soren Santos and Alex Kirschner in the leads. (Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle)