Christian Coulson stars as Roland and Victoria Frings as Marianne in Nick Payne’s Constellations.
  • Christian Coulson stars as Roland and Victoria Frings as Marianne in Nick Payne’s Constellations.
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I overheard a few conversations after the show. Constellations at the Old Globe confused some people. It should be stated that some people are persistently confused.

The show, by its own admission, is a personification of string theory. This is confusing in more than one way, because (also by the show’s own admission) the laws of particle physics don’t cross over into the realm of classical physics.

How can the infinite possibilities of the quantum field be applied to the relationship between two people? It can only be done as a literary device. Constellations is where Groundhog Day meets 50 First Dates meets Sliding Doors meets Edge of Tomorrow meets What the Bleep do We Know?

The common thread with all of those movies is the manipulation of the time line. The difference in Constellations is that time isn’t being manipulated in order for the characters to grow or get it right as in the movies mentioned above. In Constellations there is no best time line. There is no correct scenario.

There are scenarios which feel more pleasant than others, but on the whole the relationship stays in the light. There is no dark side to the show where abuse or violence enters. However, if we are considering the infinite nature of possibility then the grotesque or twisted should be present.

I’m not suggesting that the characters don goatees a la the famous Star Trek episode but a scenario that went down that dim path to destruction would be appropriate and maybe even necessary in order to fulfill the concept of the show. Since there is a fundamental duality expressed in theories about particle physics then the darkest of all possible timelines is something we could expect to be included in Constellations.

Constellations closed May 8.

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Comments

Ian Pike May 10, 2016 @ 11:32 a.m.

So, is it basically Rick and Morty for responsible people?

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dwbat May 10, 2016 @ 1:56 p.m.

Sounds like "Schrödinger's cat" meets "The Good Wife."

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