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Off Broadway

Strings Attached or Maybe Not

Strings Attached or Maybe Not

Jonathan Hadley as Sir Isaac Newton with Paul Schoeffler Photo by John Quilty

Carol Buggé’s Strings Attached, which opened on Theatre Row last night is more confusing than enlightening. It is also way to talky and feels way too long. It seems like the play is talking at you, instead of drawing you in. The actors are all doing the best they can, but they are undermined by the direction of Alexa Kelly, who adds business that makes this show feel unending.

Robyne Parrish, Brian Richardson, Paul Schoeffler Photo by John Quilty

The play is based loosely on a real train ride in 1999, in which three scientists boarded a train from Cambridge to London to attend a performance of Michael Frayn’s new play, Copenhagen. En route, they discovered a theory of the Big Bang or at least so they say.

Paul Schoeffler and Russell Saylor Photo by John Quilty.

Headed from Cambridge to London, cosmologist June (Robyne Parrish), and her husband cosmologist George (Paul Schoeffler) and  particle physicist Rory (Brian Richardson) share much more than a train compartment. During the ride memories, secrets and theories are revealed. Suddenly Isaac Newton (Jonathan Hadley), Marie Curie (Bonnie Black), and Max Planck (Russell Saylor) visit the trio. As does a bizarre Ukrainian couple and over the top American couple (played again by Black and Saylor). How and why are never really explained. All hold some kind of magical power that allows them to make the trio rise and fall at the command of their hands. The blend of space and time are blurred and so are our minds.

Bonnie Black Photo by John Quilty.

Even odder, is after the intermission who June is married to and who she is having an affaire with change. Again with no explanation, unless that brief conversation about parallel universes was the clue.

Robyne Parrish Photo by John Quilty.

Complex scientific concepts are thrown at us like common verbiage and instead of being intrigues (I love science) I was turned off.

Jessica Parks’s train set, Joyce Liao lights, Elena Vannoni’s  costumes  and especially Louis Lopardi sound are done well.

In another universe these actors would be given a better play and director.

Strings Attached: Produced under the banner of Pulse Theatre, Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd St. until November 1st.

Off Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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