The French Revolution, and the years before it, inundated the world with news of dire consequences in a particularly failed monarchy. Christopher Hampton’s ‘Les Liaisons dangereuses’ had every opportunity to exploit the revolution in the interest of character development — and somehow, Hampton abandoned its every notion in this nonetheless well-mounted drama.

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We asked each of our writers to cast their thoughts as “bravos” and “boos.” As you’ll see, some of them found it easier to do than others. Be that as it may, we proudly present essays by Ken Herman, Kris Eitland, Bill Eadie, David Dixon, Martin Jones Westlin, and Welton Jones.

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Audience and authorial tastes are changing all the time, and that’s why a Moliere adaptation (amid its originator’s bawdy humor) might not catch up in one fell swoop. Nonetheless, San Diego Repertory Theatre’s ‘Manifest Destinitis’ is a lot of fun as it looks at a core premise of 19th-century American expansionism.

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We haven’t seen the likes of Leonard Bernstein’s modern impact on music before him or since — Lenny could do it all, and he had no qualms about heralding music’s place in the human experience. ‘Maestro,’ currently on tap at San Diego Repertory Theatre, is local favorite Hershey Felder’s nod to the big man — even amid its topheavy qualities, it’s certainly a piece for the mind and heart.

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