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Review: 'Farnsworth Invention' at Town Hall Theatre a compelling look at the birth of TV - San Jose Mercury News


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That tale is "The Farnsworth Invention," Aaron Sorkin's ("The Social Network," "West Wing") gripping and wildly entertaining play about how television was invented by Philo Farnsworth in his lab, at 202 Green St. in San Francisco, and then -- according to this version -- stolen by David Sarnoff, president of RCA. Farnsworth eventually loses his interests in the invention to Sarnoff and Russian inventor Vladimir Zworykin.

The war for control of the monumental invention makes for an engaging and heartbreaking play, even if -- as many accounts claim -- the work is not completely accurate. The complex legal battle over control of the television has, in this case, been simplified to a single lawsuit. Some critics also claim that Farnsworth's life of obscurity and destitution owing to the fight has been overexaggerated in the play.

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