Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Love and Information

This play is very unique and another thoroughly enjoyable installment of the New York Theatre Workshop.  Actually, less of a play more a series of thematic vignettes - long and short.  Broken down into 8 chapters, Caryl Churchill imbues each chapter with a theme that is then explored in several usually quick slices of life she presents.  Funny, sad, poignant, smart, coy, cunning, deceptive - you name it - she's got it.

The cast of 15 is usually, but not exclusively, paired in twos and is always introduced by a sound effect that relates to the scene.  Part of the formula for success is the bare white stage box and lighting effect at the scene changes that completely blacks out the view.  Very binary, very data-oriented, very sparse.  It focuses you on the topic of the scene.  There's a fair amount of thinking or processing that has to go on - that is - if you are trying to decode each scene and chapter.

By the time chapter 4 came along I started to figure out a pattern.  I just wish they would have displayed that theme when they flashed the chapter number up on the scrim.  It really would have made a quicker and stronger association to the content as it unfolded.  They could have at least printed it in the Playbill so we could have all reflected upon it afterwards.  And believe me, this one generated a lot of conversation afterwards.

With 57 individual vignettes over 2 hours, there was quite a bit to recall fondly.