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CONSTELLATIONS Shea's Smith Theater/Second Generation Theatre
Mar 25, 2022, 14:58
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Through March 26
CONSTELLATIONS Shea’s Smith Theatre/Second Generation Theatre

Parallel and alternative universes are a routine trope of science fiction.
Just watch enough episodes of the various iterations of “Star Trek.”
Nick Payne’s “Constellations” is different, although Marianne (Kristin Bentley) is a cosmologist at Cambridge.
They are in Britain’s class conscious society, an interesting mix since Roland (Chris Avery) is a beekeeper.
The show is a long series of quick and short scenes between Marianne and Roland.
Over time, you get a sense of what’s going on in these different universes, although Worf never shows.
These are two obsessed people, she’s obsessed with the numbers in the stars and he’s obsessed with the intricacies of the world of bees.
Neither seems a person you want to be stuck with in a cocktail party.
They match and split and it’s not always clear which timeline you are in.
Director Michael Wachowiak chose not to revert to the usual techniques of changing backdrops or changing costumes to show the differences.
At the same time, we never learn if this is Roland and Marianne 1 or Roland and Marianne 8, leaving some dangling and confusing plot lines.
Using a science fictiony sound device (Think “Law & Order.”) is the way we learn of a change in sequences.
Gradually, we learn Marianne’s growing problems with manipulating data are a sign of one of the most lethal cancers, glioblastoma.
That’s basically not curable, even in the world of science fiction.
They go through the ritual dance of the oncologists, hearing that awful news of Stage Four, a medical way of saying: Get your will up to-date.
“Constellations” is a fascinating variant of the dramatic plot line of opposites attracting, this match of a beekeeper and a cosmologist.
Because of that, we learn a lot about bees and cosmology and the idea that someone can earn a living with bees.
This isn’t a long play but it’s interesting.
Bentley and Avery are very strong.
“Constellations” is more apropos in these times of life and death than many romances while sticking to the old story of falling in love.
It is worth seeing.


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