BWW Review: CONSTELLATIONS at Mad Cow Theatre
One of the beautiful things about theatre is requires varying levels of involvement. Some shows allow you to sit back and be an inactive participant, while others require you to give up control and just watch a story unfold in front of your eyes. Constellations, by Nick Payne, is the type of play where you must be willing to be invested. It also requires you be willing to take a hard look at the choices you make in your own life.
Throughout the play the audience sees the love story of Marianne and Roland, portrayed by Gemma Victoria Waldon and Brett Waldon. We see the entire course of their relationship from their first meeting all the way until the end. What makes it unique is that we see each interaction multiple times, each time a different choice being made by one of the characters. The first twenty minutes of the show can be hard to follow until you get used to following the multiple timelines going on.
Mrs. Waldon did a good job of helping the audience follow these timelines by making small physical choices each time the scene would restart. Whether it be a new posture, or even just sitting differently, it helped create a different version of Marianne that was unique to each scene. Mrs. Waldon weaved the comedic timing and dramatic moments together to create a very well thought out character. She clearly showed she has a great range of skills to pull from.
Mr. Waldon made less physical choices and chose to change the timing of his lines to create different version of Roland. This was sometimes not as successful as I would have liked, and made it had to differentiate between the different timelines we were watching. Waldon played the comedic moments well, but when it came time for him to ever be angry at Marianne, it never quite had the punch it should have.
A problem a scene study play like this has, it never lets the actors, and audience sit in the heavy moments for very long. There were times when both actors would deliver very emotional moments and I would be very invested, and then the scene would start over and we would be right back into a comedic moment again.
My recommendation is to head into seeing Constellations with an open mind. In life, we never get to see what a different choice will do, so it is beautiful to be able to see it unfold on stage.
Constellations is playing at Mad Cow Theatre Thursday-Sundays, February 17-March 19,2017. Tickets are available at www.madcowtheatre.com