Photo by Don Kellogg

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Science of Guilt

What would you do if someone told you all that guilt would wash away if you took this little pill?  Would you take it?  Throw in a dash of family drama and there you have the premise of this new play by Jason Odell Williams playing at the DR2 Theatre in Union Square.

This 3 character play is not without its problems - an unrealistic view of how the pharmaceutical industry works along with an unrealistic view of how a drug is actually invented.  Top that off with a family twist that is so confusing you're head hurt and you'll need a pill for yourself.  Anatol Yusef (Kevin) and Vincent Piazza (John) do a generally upstanding job at weaving and ultimately unraveling the sibling rivalry that exists between them, despite the fact that it's hard to believe the John has created this little pill even thought he's a medical school dropout and has no job that involves a laboratory.  Kevin, a seemingly well off business man (undefined as to how) welcomes John, his younger brother back into his life after an 8 year absence (also undefined as to why).  The family drama is thrown in when we find out Kevin's wife, Marcy (Sarah Kate Jackson) was formerly (or maybe not so formerly) John's fiancée before he disappeared.  Who's screwing who here is more the question.  Deeper and deeper plunge into this family debacle until finally one man (it's obvious from the start that it won't be the girl) is left standing.  Can you guess who it is?  I was there and could barely follow it all.

The trouble with this play is Williams' confusing material, not the actors.  Perhaps if you take a little something to relax your brain before you see it - you, too, will be rewarded.  If nothing else, the pharmaceutical industry certainly will be.