Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by David Allen

“I long for elsewhere,” says Marius (Daniel Hart Donoghue) in the classic play Marius, by French playwright Marcel Pagnol, now playing at Aurora Theatre in Berkeley. He speaks of his calling to be a sailor, a calling to the open sea and ports of call around the world. He speaks to Fanny (Jessa Brie Berkner), the love of his life, and immediately recognizes the tragedy of his longings, knowing that to be the wife of a real sailor is no life. Then they both have the same revelation: “Love isn’t everything.” To which Marius responds, “Like money,” thinking of the older rich man that wants to marry Fanny. And she responds in turn: “Like the sea.”

And so we are drawn into this delightful love story, which flows in and out like the tide and the waves crashing on the shore. Yet there is great vitality in the opposition of the incoming and outgoing tide and it provides the ultimate test of love. Can Marius give up his longing for the sea out of love for Fanny and does Fanny love Marius enough to let him ride the waves and explore the world?

This is one of the greatest sea stories because its focus is on the ebb and flow of human relationships. For tickets or more information call (510) 843-4822 or visit

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