Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Itamar Moses strikes gold again.  This time, on 42nd Street at Playwrights Horizons with his latest contemporary work, Completeness.  Mr. Moses has demonstrated his contemporary talents several times before off-Broadway in at least two prior shows that I have also thoroughly enjoyed, The Four of Us and Back Back Back.

In this incarnation, Mr. Moses has penned a complex work that entangles our quest for love and relationship with science and mathematics.   Fear not, his clever dialogue is both instructive and engaging - to the point that you begin to think you are going to walk away being able to solve the TSP (Traveling Salesperson Problem, for those of you who might know).

Karl Miller (Elliot) and Aubrey Dollar (Molly) are thoroughly engaging and believable as a pair of slightly awkward, mostly normal, and very intelligent grad students (clothes both on and off) engaged in their respective quests of computer science (Elliot) and biology (Molly) - or is it a quest for everlasting love?   Or both?  Is the answer out there just waiting to be solved for?  Or do you just take the chances as they come and jump in hoping it till work?

One very awkward moment near the end of the play arrives at a time in the play when both the relationships AND the math/science "blow up".  The play literally stops, and two other characters come out and talk to the audience to allegedly "stall for time" while the show takes a technical break to "reboot the board".  Quite unusual - and by a poll of various people who said they knew - it was part of the play - not a real glitch.   Symbolic, perhaps.  Thoroughly distracting - yes.   I wanted to be talking about so many other aspects of the play afterwards but just couldn't leave this "moment" alone.