Review: A MISUNDERSTANDING - A Must For Evolution Theorists

By: Jan. 05, 2019
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Review: A MISUNDERSTANDING - A Must For Evolution Theorists

A MISUNDERSTANDING/by Matt Chait/directed by Elina de Santos/Ruby Theatre @ The Complex/thru February 3, 2019

Aficionados of evolution theory debating will be mesmerized by the world premiere of playwright Matt Chait's A MISUNDERSTANDING. Others will be most appreciative of the four actors' deep commitments to their respective characters and very lengthy speeches. The technical terminology of opposing theories of evolution - Darwin and creative - abound in Chait's script of a Review: A MISUNDERSTANDING - A Must For Evolution Theorists fired biology professor being given a second chance at returning to the college he was unceremoniously let go from. These evolution debates take over every scene, whether in the re-instatement hearings of the ousted professor Bertram Cates, championed by his former colleague and biology department head Joshua Brownstein; or over the dining table of Melinda Brownstein and her fiancé Howard Blair. In A MISUNDERSTANDING (directed by Elina de Santos), character development (and a plot point of Professor Cates' student Matthew Brady's suicide) get short-shifted by the constant technical jargon.

Playwright Chait plays Cates as a very passionate, tunnel-visioned, scientific genius. Amy-Helene Carlson and Dennis Renard ably essay Melina and Howard as a young flirty couple supposedly in love, in spite of their major differences. Bruce Katzman Review: A MISUNDERSTANDING - A Must For Evolution Theorists fares best of the cast as department head Joshua Brownstein, keen on winning back his dismissed professor and the probable accompanying grant and recognition Cates' ground-breaking research would garner. Aside from his mastery of the hypotheses lingo, Katzman charmingly reveals Joshua's vulnerability and paternal feelings for his daughter Melinda in a quiet, intimate scene near the play's end.


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