As portrayed in popular entertainment, heroes tend to be defined by perilous adventures in which the fate of nothing less than the entire universe has been staked. Such hyperbolic action, however, shouldn't be expected from Heroes, dramatist Tom Stoppard's translation of French playwright Gérald Sibleyras's La Vent des Peupliers. The story of three World War I veterans daydreaming of flight from their mundane lives in a retirement home, Heroes is pointedly more Samuel Beckett than Jerry Bruckheimer. As the characters ruminate on the passing of time with wry humor, the displayed valor is quintessentially human in scale, reflecting a humble bravery in the face of mortality. Stoppard's translation has been widely acclaimed for bringing out the wit and warmth at the core of Sibleyras's work. Such potential is sure to be further fulfilled by the trio of exceptional performers coming together for this off-the-radar production. Continuing his reintroduction to Twin Cities stages after more than two decades in Hollywood, Patrick O'Brien will join veteran local performers James Michael Detmar and Lawrence Rip in evoking Heroes' central theme, described by Sibleyras as "the universal desire to escape from the confines of your life." Now that's an everyday challenge that would give even Superman a fight.
Thursdays, 7 p.m.; Sat., March 5, 7 p.m.; Sun., March 6, 7 p.m.; Wed., March 9, 7 p.m. Starts: March 3. Continues through March 10, 2011