I hope I am not the only person who remembers those “choose your own adventure” books because I rather enjoyed them. The art of interactive entertainment and the ability to contribute your imagination to the plot has been lost indeed. You could turn to page twenty-eight and alter the entire fate of the protagonist, or you could flip to page sixteen or seventy-four in an attempt to play it safe and avoid any unforeseen dangers. The ending was a resolution just as much for the reader as it was for the main characters because nothing was spelled out or resolved out right. Finding out what really happened as opposed to what was supposed to happen depended entirely on who held the book. With very few things being left to the imagination nowadays, it was quite a unique experience to see Megacosm, a production brought to us by A Red Orchid Theater. *If you would like to find out exactly what the heck Megacosm is about, please read on.*
*You have chosen to read on which will bring you that much closer to finding out about Megacosm.* Written by Red Orchid Theater ensemble member Brett Neveu and directed by fellow ensemble member Dado, Megacosm is an original play about an industrialist in the near future who succeeds in coercing an inventor to sign over the rights to his revolutionary, potentially world-changing creation.
With metaphorically damp toes, we dive deeper into the plot to discover the meek yet intellectually brawny inventor, Chris, has discovered the means to recreate life sans procreation and was convinced to share his ingenious discovery by a seemingly omnipotent, mysterious character named Francis. He is compelled to meet with Britt, the owner of an industrial company; to deliver a presentation on his very ground breaking creation. The meeting between Brit and Chris is anything but predictable as the reality of corporate greed clashes with man kind's obsession with discovering the meaning of life; and how to control it.
The comedy was extremely original, intelligent, and thought provoking. There were a lot of things to be said and learned about mankind’s attempt at playing god, the nature of humanity, and the chaos that can ensue from new product development. Megacosm reminded me of a “choose your own adventure” book because there were numerous questions that were left unanswered by the end of the play. The audience is compelled to use their imaginations to conjure answers that I believe were deliberately left unaddressed by Mr. Neveu. The production called for a very minute cast (the talented Larry Grimm, comedic Danny McCarthy, convincing David Steiger, and the adorable, tenacious and talented Eden Strong), but was far more interesting and exciting than one would expect from a play with only four people. The boutique theater, located downtown Chicago in Old Town on Wells Street, was intimate and forged in such a way that the audience had no choice but to be a part of the action; imagine an interactive audience experience that doesn't require 3d glasses! *If you would like to know what happens next, get out to the Red Orchid Theater to see the play for yourself; it runs until February 26th 2012.* You may be slightly perplexed after seeing this play, but you won't be disappointed.
A Red Orchid Theatre
Written by Ensemble Member Brett Neveu
Directed by Ensemble Member Dado
Megacosm features A Red Orchid Ensemble Members Larry Grimm (Chris) and Danny McCarthy (Britt) with David Steiger (Sam) and A Red Orchid Youth Ensemble Member Eden Strong (Carol)
Photo credit:Michael Brosilow