(David Rooney’s article appeared in The New York Times, 11/6.)

It’s entirely in keeping with the infectious metatheatrical spirit of the Pearl Theater Company’s staging of “Figaro” that the actor Sean McNall blurs the line between the title character and this 18th-century comedy’s author, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, while blithely straddling the gulf separating pre-Revolution France from the present-day America.

“I took up my pen and wrote a book everyone admired that offered the modest suggestion that the rich should pay more tax than the poor, speculators should be responsible for their own losses and government ministers should not accept gifts from wealthy merchants,” Figaro explains toward the end of what he describes as “this dingy little farce.”


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