BWW Review: An Adventure Through Time and Technology in THE (CURIOUS CASE OF THE) WATSON INTELLIGENCE, at CoHo Theatre
What kind of relationship do you have with your digital devices? Do you believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) will ever be capable of empathy? If it is, will it be enough, or is there something essential that only another human can provide?
Madeleine George's Pulitzer Prize-nominated THE (CURIOUS CASE OF THE) WATSON INTELLIGENCE takes the audience on a journey through time (and severAl Watsons, from Alexander Graham Bell's assistant to Sherlock Holmes's sidekick to IBM's Jeopardy!-winning supercomputer) that explores the nature of our relationship with technology and, fundamentally, with other people.
This production, directed by Philip Cuomo, works on every level. First, the play itself is cleverly constructed and provides a little something for everyone - comedy, relationship drama, science, politics, history, and mystery. Even if you're not interested in delving into the deeper issues of technology, empathy, and human connection, you'll still enjoy the play simply for the plot. If you are interested in these deeper issues, you'll find plenty to think and talk about.
Fellow Portland theatre nerds will enjoy chewing over the connection between this play and other recent productions that have tackled some of the same ideas, like Artists Rep's MARJORIE PRIME and Third Rail's THE NETHER. And, if you just really like to watch some Great Performances, you'll find those as well. The three actors - Gavin Hoffman, Eric Martin Reid, and Sarah Ellis Smith - all move skillfully between multiple characters, some of whom require British accents.
Overall, I really enjoyed THE (CURIOUS CASE OF THE) WATSON INTELLIGENCE and I'm confident you will, too.
THE (CURIOUS CASE OF THE) WATSON INTELLIGENCE runs through September 30. More details and tickets here.
Photo credit: Owen Carey