Conversations on Russian Literature is the second and more substantial half of an evening of plays by David Johnston, courtesy of the Blue Coyote Theater Group. Sitting on park benches -- not even taking a walk in the woods -- an American negotiator (Jonna McElrath) and an old Russian general (Frank Anderson) toss hot potatoes back and forth: their intellectual pursuits (hence the title), their personal histories, their own place in history, their practical and inner motivations for meeting. Skilfully, with music-perfect pacing, and with huge help from two superb performances and Gary Shrader's subtle, unobtrusive direction, the playwright reveals who these players really are and what brings them to this strange crossroads. By itself, this one-act is worth more than the price of admission.
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