Author Itamar Moses brings us a fresh take on love, human connection and discovery in this contemporary romantic comedy. The story centers on computer scientist, Elliot, as he attempts to flirt with molecular biologist, Molly, and accidentally ends up helping with her research. These grad students form a romantic bond as they teach each other about their passion projects and open up about past relationship baggage. For anyone who may prefer a more buttoned up kind of romance, there are scenes where clothing is meager. However, those few scenes are accomplished with a sense of fun and sweetness that overrules any shock value underwear may bring with it.
Completeness, directed by Jonah Conner, was smart and fun. The staging was clear and purposeful, which speaks volumes considering the show was done in a small, black box theatre with audience on three sides. Mr. Conner chose interesting angles to stage, he kept the actor’s physical language with each other purposeful, and had barely noticeable transitions with minimal flow issues. This young director has real potential. There was one scene, in act two, that was a major break from the story. I was unfamiliar with this show going in to opening night and don’t know if this was scripted or directed to be so entirely out of the world of the play. It was an attempt to show a real-life situation they had only referred to in mathematical terms prior, but it subverted the journey of the characters for me.
The lighting design was by Brittany LaCross, and the costume design was by Abby Burgess.
The sound design, by Isaiah “Izzy P” Powell, had some nicely timed cut offs, but I was not clear as to why the preshow/intermission music of this funny, modern tale was so outdated and dark.
The scenic design by Kylee Monahan was minimal, but also functional, creative, and visually cohesive. I am always appreciative when designers don’t forget the floor in a space where the audience looks down at it.
I could not have loved actor Joe Green more. Green’s performance of Elliot was natural and charismatic. I believed him to be everything he portrayed: sweet, funny, intelligent, passionate…even simultaneously awkward and confident. Both Joe Green and actress Erica Close, who adroitly portrayed Molly, delivered long, impassioned speeches explaining scientific theories…and kept the audience fascinated! Ms. Close was impressive herself, giving the audience a layered performance of a sweet and complicated Molly.
Actors Spencer Beyerlein and Richelle Arguello rounded out the cast as all six of the other characters. Spencer’s portrayal of the professor, Don, was great. He had nice comedic timing and committed with every ounce he had to the touchy character. I was a tad disappointed when he changed into Franklin, a rival for Molly’s affections, and there wasn’t more difference between the two. Ms. Arguello, who pervades adorableness, appeared very different for each of her characters, but her physical and emotional portrayal both seemed uncomfortable or forced. It appeared as though she was doing everything she was supposed to, but because she was told to, not because it felt right to her.
Overall, this is good production, and a great date night. It was nice to see a romantic comedy that celebrates intelligence, confidence, and being real about relationship fears. Simultaneously, Completeness has you leave the theatre feeling a just a little bit smarter.
Don’t miss the last performance tonight!
(Nov 17th at 7:30pm)
Tickets can be purchased either online or at the box office (two hours prior to an event): When tickets are purchased online, a link will be sent to your e-mail to either print or present as a mobile ticket(s).