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Through March 25: "The Farnsworth Invention"

Lakewood Playhouse

"The Farnsworth Invention": It beats pretty much most things on TV. Courtesy photo

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I've been following the work of Aaron Sorkin since the days of the short-lived TV show Sports Night. I've observed that there are a few things Sorkin clearly loves more than anything else: space travel, talking while walking, stealing his own lines and Philo T. Farnsworth.

I've also known John Munn for more than a few years, and there's not much he loves more than Aaron Sorkin. This is how we come to have Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention at Lakewood Playhouse, directed by Munn himself.

Philo Farnsworth - "Phil" to his friends and family - invented the television. Sort of. That is, he was the first scientist to successfully transmit and reconstruct an image over the air. If you haven't heard of him, the play would have you believe that it's largely because he lost a prolonged legal battle with RCA and did not become a multi-millionaire as owner of the patents used in commercial television.

This tale, or a rough approximation thereof, is told by two narrators: Farnsworth himself, a young, largely self-educated scientific prodigy (played by Niclas Olson); and David Sarnoff, eventual president of RCA and founder of NBC (played by Gabriel McClelland).

Joe Isenman's full review of The Farnsworth Invention is in the Arts section at

[Lakewood Playhouse, The Farnsworth Invention, through March 25, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $17-$23, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., Lakewood, 253.588.0042]

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Theater Review: "The Farnsworth Invention"

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