Playgoers Eager For Homework: Must Be Stoppard Fans

“The audience, as much as the play, is worth the price of admission as it wrestles at Lincoln Center with ‘The Coast of Utopia,’ Tom Stoppard’s beguilingly complex resurrection of Russia’s 19th-century intelligentsia. … Between the acts, overheard snatches of audience dialogue burnished the evening as characters were plumbed or at least kept straight. ‘Who was Alexander Herzen, precisely?’ (Ah, the playwright’s tease: Come back for the next two parts to see Herzen dramatically intuit the terror of a revolutionary future.) ‘I guess I’ll have to read Isaiah Berlin’s essays on these guys.’ (Homework, gladly self-assigned, the ultimate compliment to Stoppard.)”