(Photo courtesy of 16th Street Theater/Anthony Aicardi)
16th Street Theater has opened its 2011 season with "The Beats," an amazing adaptation of the words, particularly the poems, of the Beat Generation. Whether or not writers Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg were influential enough to give their name to a whole generation—an issue considered with comic skepticism in the show—the work itself certainly was. And adapter Marilyn Campbell has conspired with director Ann Filmer to demonstrate once for all how well that work has stood the test of time. There’s nothing musty or nostalgic about this portrait of a world now nearly 60 years gone, nor is there anything that even faintly matches your preconceptions of a poetry reading.