Davalos's script, which proceeds from such a whimsical conceit, likewise plays it out with lots of imaginative disregard for historical purity. Anachronistic allusions abound, from Faustus's credo "Turn in, turn down, turn off" to a kind of Elizabethan proto-punk band's act in the Bunghole. Wittenberg impressively manages to incorporate the history of Luther's Theses and other philosophical revolutions without being bookish about it. Both script and acting make the philosophies feel, as they should, like the fervid lifeblood of Luther and Faustus. In fact, they are both so passionate, so convincing, and so entertaining, it's easy to see why Hamlet couldn't decide. ^

WITTENBERG | by David Davalos | Directed by Ron Botting and Merry Conway | Produced by Portland Stage Company | through May 19 | 207.774.0465

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