BWW Review: EINSTEIN'S WIFE at ExPats Theatre
History has solidified Albert Einstein as a legendary physicist, the unparalleled mind behind a scientific legacy that expands from atomic theory to special relativity. We credit Einstein with the modern world's most innovative marvels, but ExPats Theatre's current production of Einstein's Wife is a remarkably original reminder that behind every great man an uncredited woman stands nearby, quietly shrouded in the shadows.
Einstein's Wife chronicles the rocky marriage between Albert Einstein (Sasha Olinick) and his first wife, Mileva Malick (Cecelia Auerswald) through flashbacks between the past and their state in the afterlife, as both are stuck with each other in a purgatory-esque limbo.
One of the first things to notice in this production is the style of space and projections used for storytelling. While the space itself was proscenium style I felt that the production would have been elevated in a more intimate style seating arrangement such as an arena or alley style. In watching the production I wished I had been able to be more a part of the intimacy shared between Olinick and Auerswald and I felt it would've heightened the level of storytelling. This aside the truly mesmerizing performances of Olinick and Auerswald were unparalleled. Auerswald's razor sharp quips in response to Olinick's constant badgering and cajoling left the audience on the edge of their seats waiting for the next thrust of verbal sparring. I was thoroughly invested in the two as a married couple as their dynamism, bickering, and actions were fully realized. Both of the actors allowed themselves to be vessels as a means to tell a story that highlights a very real issue in our society. That is, the issue of not giving women credit where credit is due.
One of the most successful parts of this production is its ability to make you question. I loved that I walked out of the theatre questioning what other famous men had taken credit from hard working, innovative women. It made me want to reexamine the history of seemingly well known discoveries or advancements where credit that should have been given to women was stolen, and acknowledgment swept under the rug. This production is an important and timely correction in this "me too" era to an egregious rewriting of history. Through Einstein's Wife, Mileva Malic's important work and dedication to physics but to her family was finally recognized.
In the spirit of Women's history month I'd also like to point out that the brilliant creative team (Karin Rosnizeck, Snezana Gnjdic, Milena Garfield) that brought this production to life was entirely comprised of women, further driving home the point of the show and its worldly impact. As a woman seeing Einstein's Wife, there is an important reminder that while it may seem like advancements for women haven't come very far, it is the small victories like telling Mileva's story that push us forward.Einsteins Wife runs at the Atlas Performing Arts Center from March 5-22. Tickets can be purchased here https://www.atlasarts.org/events/einsteins-wife/