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The Real Thing is about true love, but not the trite pop-song variety. In his modern classic, Tom Stoppard gives love a deeply layered treatment fraught with pain, doubt, and betrayal, in which the lead, a playwright named Henry, becomes entangled in a web of infidelity far more complicated than any he could write for the stage. Stoppard articulates the complexities of passion and betrayal; the compromises we can make to preserve our relationships; when we choose to shatter intimacy; and how we manage to preserve it. With The Habit of Art and Venus in Fur, Studio Theatre’s Artistic Director David Muse showed us how capably he handles plays that interweave personal conflicts and the artistic process. For The Real Thing, Muse has chosen to give it the kind of intimate setting it deserves: The director will stage what he describes as Stoppard’s “most personal, most autobiographical, most private play” in Studio’s smallest space, the Milton Theater. But when asked why he chose to direct the work, Muse says his reasons were simple: “It’s just a damn good play.” $39-$72.