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Theater Shows
Completeness

In this winning production, the tug of war between heart and head makes for a gripping spectacle.

centerstage reviewed this performanceReviewed by Centerstage!Go Chicago!

Venue:
Theater Wit
Cost:
$18-$36
Tickets:
TheaterWit.org

Author
Itamar Moses

Styles

Related Info:
Official website

Performances
Runs February 19, 2013-May 4, 2013

Friday8 p.m.
Saturday8 p.m.
Sunday2 p.m.
Thursday8 p.m.

Recommended a "Must See" Show

Itamar Moses's plays are sparkling, smart, and usually concerned with professional jealousy. We're so glad he finally wrote a romcom! "Completeness," about a computer scientist and a molecular biologist who fall in love (kind of) with each other, but, in the face of infinite life possibilities, have trouble marshaling their data into a solid conclusion re: getting together. The conflict between intellect and emotion isn't exactly ground-breaking territory, but lively performances (and a sleek, stunning production design) make this show worthy of peer review.


reviewed performanceCenterstage Show Review
Reviewer: Alex Huntsberger
Monday Feb 25, 2013

It’s an old cliché that someone can be too smart for their own good. Then again, it’s a cliché because it’s true. Itamar Moses’ “Completeness,” currently receiving its Midwest premiere at Theatre Wit, takes this idea to its logical extreme. When a pair of grad students, Elliot (Matt Holzfeind), a computer scientist, and Molly (Kristina Valada-Viars), a molecular biologist, hop into bed together, their well-endowed brains quickly become an impediment. And in Jeremy Wechsler’s winning production, the tug of war between heart and head makes for a gripping spectacle. As might be expected in a play about computer scientist and molecular biologist, Moses’ script is a dense and heavy affair. A weaker production could easily collapse under its weight. Happily, Holzfeind and Valada-Viars are both charming and adept performers, making Elliot and Molly into three-dimensional, flesh-bound humans, rather than the talking heads that they could so easily become. You like them, occasionally you loathe them (but never for too long) and you want for them to find happiness. Amidst the ever-increasing science jargon, they never allow the show to become about anything other than heart. However, the most thrilling aspect of Wechsler’s production is its bold design. Starting with a set by Joe Schermoly that looks like the Apple store of the future and sets a stark, antiseptic tone, Wechsler than explodes that sterility in his transitions. Utilizing video (by Michael Standfill) and tracks of running lights (by Michael Rourke) all accompanied by an original score (Joe Fosco), Wechsler is able to create a key sense of narrative propulsion. As Elliot and Molly hope from meet-cute to hook-up to nebulous semi-togetherness, the gathering momentum of their feelings is echoed in the increasingly complex transitions. And as the complexity increases, so does the possibility the everything will collapse. How the script, and the production embodies that collapse is something that should only be seen, not described. In keeping with the idea of old clichés, I don’t think that “Completeness” breaks any new ground. But the way it experiments with familiar elements results in a very satisfying theatrical reaction.

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