Closing August 6th at the Overtime Theater

By: Jul. 31, 2022

New theatre is always a treat and Overtime Theater has a history of creating new works that are "original, innovative, and accessible", Einstein's Wrong About Everything by San Antonio local playwright, Joseph E. Green fits the bill. This play, set in 1956 Ohio follows "the brain of Albert Einstein [after it] was stolen from Princeton University." Kareem Abu Dahab's direction played up the comedy and provided many wonderful stage pictures for the audience to enjoy. He has a way of using space that keeps drawing the audience in to the action.

The Overtime Theater's Blackbox provided the perfect intimate setting for this outrageous period piece. The story focuses on Thomas Harvey, played by Austin Escobedo, a coroner for Princeton University who performed the autopsy of one Albert Einstein and subsequently stole the genius' brain, as you do when you have the opportunity. He is soon trailed by Neo-Nazis hoping to discredit Einstein's theories and prove their superiority. They succeed in complaining about Einstein but fail to actually prove superiority. Escobedo's portrayal was sincere and dynamic as his character was put through the wringer after befriending his drug-addicted neighbor, Bill played by Sean Wilson. Wilson's Bill was a great mix of charisma, intelligence, and debauchery. Bill's antics include everything from shooting up heroin to summoning Aleister Crowley to assist when Harvey's fiance, Ally Toulouse, played by Jessica Roberts, is kidnapped by the Neo-Nazis.

Roberts played a fantastic yet stubborn damsel in distress. Her wit and charm shined allowing the audience to feel simultaneously concerned for her safety and annoyed by her antics. In a particularly intense interrogation scene, Ally Toulouse not only agrees with Einstein's shortcomings but is also fending off advances from the ring leader of the Neo-Nazi group Der Elefant, played by Meaghan Setterbo. Setterbo has a very commanding stage presence which suited the character perfectly. When she was speaking it was hard to take her eyes off her.

The comic relief for this play came in two sets of trios. The first trio is introduced as the Neo-Nazi henchmen, played by Joshua Molnar, Jeffery Hensel, and Donald Martin, who are tasked with acquiring Einstein's brain. The three provide a slight nod to The Three Stooges with two of them pretending to be German in order to keep the gig. The second trio is the unlikely grouping of Eleanor Roosevelt (Florence Bunten), Aleister Crowley (Chris Champlin), and Groucho Marx (Kurt Wilkinson) who arrive after being called by Bill. They each owed him a favor for previous, likely sexual, favors he had done for them. Bunten was a calming presence on stage not only providing strong comedic timing but bring power as only a First Lady can. Champlin played a strong Crowley with a heavy focus on the magickal side of Crowley's work. His summoning of a demon, though a failure, was quite enchanting for the audience. The real highlight of this show was Kurt Wilkinson's portrayal of Groucho Marx. Not only were the jokes funny and perfectly time his impersonation was spot on right down to the eyebrow-ography.

Einstein's Wrong About Everything is a hilarious adventure with intelligent writing. This is a piece made for adults so I wouldn't recommend bringing children to the performance. It is important to support new works and this is one I would go see again. If you have the opportunity head over to the Overtime Theater and see what they are all about! Einstein's Wrong About Everything closes on August 6th.