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Acid Test: The Many Incarnations of Ram Dass 

When: Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m. and Saturdays, 5 p.m. Continues through Nov. 24 2012
Price: $12-$50

Acid Test: The Many Incarnations of Ram Dass flashes back to the enlightened life and high times of Ram Dass, née Richard Alpert, a rich Jewish kid from suburban Boston who became the Hippie Hindu spiritualist and an LSD enthusiast. In Be Here Now, which he wrote in 1971, Dass tunes readers into his philosophy of yogic awareness and pursuit of good vibrations. He took 377 LSD trips and worked with Timothy Leary at Harvard, researching the benefits of psychedelics; they were both kicked out. But while I was anticipating the urge to roll my eyes during Acid Test, Ram Dass -- or at least Warren David Keith, who plays Dass in this one-man play written by Lynne Kaufman -- is an appealing personality with a sense of humor that distinguishes from other self-important proselytizers and groovier-than-thou types. His ideologies and spiritual pedagoguery are served in bite-size bits. But after all the truths are told, the life lessons shared, the aphorisms aphorized, this theatrical take on Dass' teachings provides mostly predictable nuggets. Through November 24 at The Marsh Berkeley (2120 Allston Way, Berkeley). 415-282-3055 or

— Erika Milvy


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