Published on Morgan Hill Life’s website September 1, 2017
What happens when a charming Cambridge quantum cosmologist and an attractive bee keeper meet at a barbecue? Sounds like a simple way to get two characters together. Award winning playwright Nick Payne had other ideas when he wrote “Constellations” he took his ideas to another level. Why not take us into the quantum multiiverse of the story and the lives of our characters. (As Marianne explains to Roland, “every choice, every decision you’ve ever and never made exists in an unimaginably vast ensemble of parallel universes .At any given moment several different outcomes can exist simultaneously”)
We go into four or five different times of their lives with four or five ways each time is handled each ending with of what might have been options or “what if”? ( This is keeping it simple.) A little unnerving at first but gets interesting as the play progresses.
Director Robert Kelley smoothly takes his two fine actors in and out of their different universes with a few chairs and props. Carie Kawa as the bright quantum physicist Marianne and Robert Gilbert as Roland the relaxed beekeeper convey the plotline with excellent delivery. Andrea Bechert’ s scenic design and Steven B. Mannshardt’s lighting design in the background keeps up with the story moving from universe to universe.
Payne at the age of 29, was the youngest playwright to receive The Evening Standard Best Play Award for “Constellations” . After a successful run on the West End in London winning many more awards in opening early 2012 then “Constellations” went on to another successful Broadway run with more awards in 2015.
“Constellations” has to be seen to be really appreciated and understood and it will really make you think – that’s for sure.