LEGACY OF LIGHT Reviewed by Jeffrey R Smith of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle The San Jose Rep, now into its 30th anniversary season, is presently staging LEGACY OF LIGHT written by Karen Zacarias and deftly directed by Kirsten Brandt. Robert Yacko, as Voltaire and Rachel Harker, as Emilie Du Chatelet are the dazzling dynamic dipole about which this delightfully sophisticated and witty play revolves. The script is nearly encyclopedic: crammed with bits of math, physics, science, astronomy and biographical details on history’s most brilliant man: Voltaire—whose I.Q. is estimated to have been 190 (just a few points shy of what Marilyn Vos Savant claims hers to be) and one of the preeminent scientists and mathematicians of the French Enlightenment: Emilie Du Chatelet: the woman who successfully challenged the false hypotheses erroneously laid down by Isaac Newton himself. Karen Zacarias has clearly researched and fact checked her script, the math and physics expressed in the play are consonant with Newtonian physics. As described by Voltaire in a letter to a friend, "Everything about Emilie is noble, her countenance, her tastes, the style of her letters, her discourses, her politeness. … her conversation is agreeable and interesting," Rachel Harker is an excellent match for bigger than life Emilie. In her day, Emilie rightfully earned the accolade or sobriquet: blue stocking; she was light years ahead of her times: she mused on the possibility of dark matter: a glue which held the universe together. Einstein himself would not postulate dark matter until 1917—then too, Einstein later mistakenly recanted the theory. In addition to the sterling performances of Harker and Yacko, there are the magnificent period costumes of Brandin Baron and a set design by William Bloodgood that works equally well in both the 18th and the 21st centuries. This is top quality theatre: it is erudite entertainment that is both charming and edifying: it should not be missed. For tickets call the box office at 408-367-7255 or email info@sjrep.com.