‘A CONVERSATION WITH JOHN GUARE’ at A.C.T.

Saturday morning I went to see John Guare interview himself at A.C.T.

It wasn’t technically supposed to be Guare interviewing himself. Michael Pollan, A.C.T.’s dramaturg, was nominally in charge of the interview. But Guare did this great thing where he started talking, for about fifteen minutes, before Michael ever asked him a question — and then would act put-upon whenever Michael would begin to speak, making “blah-blah-blah, get to the point, motormouth” gestures as if Michael was interrupting. Very charming and funny.

Guare told a bunch of wonderful stories, about his career, Caffe Cino, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins, and other theater geek topics, but my favorite moment was when a woman asked how Guare was updating his 1974 play Rich and Famous, which A.C.T. produces in January, so that young people would get the possibly-dated references. “I don’t care,” Guare said. “A play is of a time.” Then he added, “Besides, I never know what they’re talking about, so it’s only fair.”

Rich and Famous by John Guare, at A.C.T., 415 Geary, San Francisco, Jan 8 through Feb 8. Tickets at act-sf.org.

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