A Thousand Clowns
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Kim Taylor

Marin Classic Theatre opens A Thousand Clowns in San Rafael’s famous Belrose Theatre. The intimate atmosphere is a perfect venue for Herb Gardener’s comedy about a 1960s family in New York City. A young Nick Burns (Nick Daunt) has lived with his uncle Murray (Benjamin Colteaux) for over seven years. Murray’s sister was never sure who Nick’s father was and wasn’t the most responsible mom, so Murray had taken over raising Nick.

The problem is that Murray has this independent streak that keeps him unemployed and at risk of having Nick taken away from him by Social Welfare. One of the funniest scenes is when the two welfare workers pay them a visit.

But what lies at the heart of this American classic is a subject that all American writers explore – growing up. For Murray, growing up means finally having to make some sacrifices in his lifestyle so he can keep his nephew with him. The trick is to do this while maintaining his own childlike vitality, which Nick admires, and not giving up his free spirit, which Nick loves.

Finding this delicate balance provides the drama in this comedy. The story has a lot of heart and speaks bravely about maintaining integrity in a world that is often lacking.

For tickets or more information call (415) 721-4410 or visit www.MCTheatre.com.

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