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Luv: The Gay Version, The Straight Version, The Lesbian Version 

When: First Thursday-Saturday of every month, 8 p.m. Continues through May 23 2009
Price: $10-$12

Murray Schisgal's 1964 Broadway play Luvwas straight in its original form -- i.e., "straight" in the heterosexual sense -- though its humor was pretty barbed. Local director Alan Barkan took Luv in a different direction with his new production, which offers gay, lesbian, and straight versions of the same script (albeit with pronouns changed). The idea has aesthetic and social dimensions. On the one hand, Barkan wanted to show three different treatments of the same bumbling love story. On the other, he wanted to tell us that straight and queer people aren't all that different: We all fall in love, get jilted, and have jealous, underhanded ways of ironing out differences in a relationship. Actors Ensemble claims that you really have to see all three plays to get the full Luvexperience. Barring that, I recommend the gay and lesbian versions. Through May 23 at Berkeley's Live Oak Theatre (1300 Shattuck Ave.).

— Rachel Swan


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