Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Nick Payne certainly has a niche genre that has been playing out on the stage at Manhattan Theatre Club.  Neuro-cognative science and memory are the unique and intriguing substance for his plots.  Not exactly a light and fluffy topic.  His plays explore the mind.  Incognito, similar to Constellations, which previously played a Broadway stage, is a play that makes you think, decode, and analyze.  It's certainly not an evening for those looking for fluff.

Charlie Cox, Geneva Carr, Heather Lind, and Morgan Spector aptly play a cadre of characters in couple pairs as they rotate, move, and act out the play's 3 main acts.  The stories vary in depth and complexity - from a scientist who stole Einstein's brain to a boy with a seizure disorder who can't remember 5 seconds ago but remembers his wife and their plans for the last day they were together to a lesbian couple trying to figure each other out.  What do all these people have in common you ask?  Well, from what I can tell, it's the quest for what gives them identity and context in life.  What they think today might not be what they think tomorrow.  An does it really all matter?  Are our brains all in control in their own way and we are just passers by in the equation?  

These thoughts and others are brought to life through the stories on stage and they keep you thinking well after the play ends.  Mr. Payne's plays may grow tiresome if he doesn't broaden his horizons a bit but for now, off-Broadway seems to be the most appropriate place for his fine works.