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2 Arts & Entertainment A weekly guide to music, theater, art, movies and more, edited by Rebecca Wallace THE TRUMAN SHOW PALO ALTAN PORTRAYS PLAIN-SPOKEN PRESIDENT Peter Vilkin as Harry Truman. BY REBECCA WALLACE R Kimihiro Hoshino ight about now, Marilyn Langbehn usually digs out the Truman campaign button she inherited from her grandmother. In an election year, she figures, the nation can use a dose of the late president’s plainspokenness. “Harry Truman keeps coming up at certain times in our lives, because we so desperately just want someone to sit us down and tell us the truth,â€? she says in a phone interview. “He didn’t shy away from his opinions. He was very principled. You felt, I think, as if you knew where you stood.â€? Thanks to the one-man play “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry,â€? Truman keeps surfacing on stage. Playwright Samuel Gallu wrote the script after the Watergate scandal, and it went to Broadway and film in 1975, with James Whitmore playing Truman. “There are some obvious digs to Nixonâ€? in the script, Langbehn says. “They’re pretty much guaranteed to get some kind of ‘things never change’ reaction from the audience.â€? Now, in another era when the public is repeatedly shocked, shocked to hear that a politician has lied, “Give ‘Em Hell, Harryâ€? will be back on stage locally, courtesy of Palo Alto Players. A desk with the famous “The buck stops hereâ€? sign will soon preside over the Lucie Stern Theatre stage. The minimal set will recall the Oval Office that Truman occupied from 1945 to 1953, during the end of World War II, the dropping of the bomb, Truman’s nail-biting election victory in 1948, the Korean War and the nascent civil-rights movement. (continued on page 35) *>Â?ÂœĂŠÂ?ĂŒÂœĂŠ7iiÂŽÂ?ÞÊUĂŠ>Â˜Ă•>ÀÞÊÓä]ÊÓä£ÓÊU Page 33

Palo Alto Weekly 01.20.2012 - Section 2

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