Advertise
Free Compliments of our Advertisers
Sonoma County Gazette
Deadlines
Subscribe
Menu
Alex (John Craven) on a date with Georgie (Shannon Rider). Photo by Katie Kelley.
Alex (John Craven) on a date with Georgie (Shannon Rider). Photo by Katie Kelley.

Theater Review: Heisenberg
at Left Edge Theatre 

Jan 12, 2020
by Jeanie K. Smith , San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle

Share:

When you focus on where something is, you can’t tell where it’s going; and when you observe something moving, you can’t tell where it is — that’s the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in a nutshell, and from the world of science it supplies the central metaphor for Simon Stephens’  latest play concerning an unlikely, unpredictable and uncommon relationship. Left Edge Theatre serves up this delightfully different comedy with zest, featuring two first-rate talents and attractive staging.

Shannon Rider as Georgie chats up with John Craven as Alex. Photo by Katie Kelley.

Stephens is best known for his high-tech intrigue,The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, that follows an unusual young man on a life-changing journey. In Heisenberg, he abandons all the tech and the large ensemble for a bare stage, focusing on the seemingly random connection between two people. Forty-two year old Georgie (Shannon Rider) sees an older man in a London train station and plants a kiss on the back of his neck. The ensuing conversation between her and Alex (John Craven) reveals Georgie’s motor-mouth, her swearing, and her tendency to fabricate. Alex’s native reserve keeps him relatively quiet, although we do learn the location of his butcher shop and his unwed status. 

John Craven as Alex in Heisenberg. Photo by Katie Kelley.The encounter seems to end there, until Georgie shows up a week later in Alex’s shop— stalking? Or just being forward? Alex wonders, but Georgie’s exuberance and quirky nature begin to work on his caution, and the relationship moves again in a new direction. As we follow the liaison in short scenes, the growing warmth is suddenly mitigated by a shocking revelation that threatens to end it.But direction shifts again, and where the pairing ultimately goes surprises and tantalizes.

Stephens gives us a relationship full of uncertainty and shaky ground, but also a testament to hope, no matter what age we are or where we have been before— life throws us opportunity and surprise, and love is just around the corner, in unlikely guise.

John Craven as Alex in Heisenberg. Photo by Katie Kelley.Accomplished actors Craven and Rider clearly enjoy playing these endearing characters and their zig-zag journey, and get to demonstrate their wonderful talents in the demands of a two-person show. It’s hard to see their chemistry in opening scenes, but they show more mutual attraction as the plot proceeds. Craven’s excellent capabilities with an Irish accent are not enough in evidence here— would have liked more. Rider’s extreme zaniness in the beginning settles in to better believability, and gives us touching vulnerability in later scenes.

Director  Carla Spindt  keeps the movement sprightly throughout, nicely negotiating the back and forth dance between the characters, but oddly fumbles the ending. Argo Thompson’s beautiful set gets terrific enhancement from  April George’s lighting and clever projections by Chris Schloemp; a minor quibble in that the stage isn’t bare enough— less furniture would mean less need for elaborate scene changes. Sound design by Joe Winkler  captures ambient sounds and enchanting tango music.  Sandra Ish’s costume design makes Georgie coquettish rather than quirky, and Alex looks down and out in baggy pants and disheveled overcoat.

Funny, touching and thought-provoking, this uncommon romantic comedy sneaks up on you and tugs at your heart— and just might supply a good dose of hope for life’s surprises. See it for humor and warmth to start off your new year.

Heisenberg

Presented by Left Edge Theatre
through February 2, 2020

Thu/Fri/Sat at 8:00pm, Sun at 2:00pm

Tickets: $15 - $42

Studio Theatre, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

(707) 546-3600

www.leftedgetheatre.com

Photos by Katie Kelley

 

 

 

Comments:


Login to Make a Comment

Please support our sponsors:

City Ventures New Homes in Santa Rosa

CLICK on this ad to LEARN about NEW HOMES in TWO Communities in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County

Fine Tree Care - Sonoma County Tree Services

Visit Fine Tree Care WEBSITE for a List of our SERVICES - Testimonials and to request a FREE Estimate

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.All dispensaries have verified their information.

Flip the pages of the 2019 Sonoma County gardeners Resource GUide - LIVE Links to local businessses

Your GUIDE to support locally-owned garden businesses and natural landscaping practices.

2019 Small Shops of Sonoma County

Your GUIDE to Locally-owned businesses to support Sonoma County's economy this Holiday Season

Sonoma County Bicycle Shops and Groups

Sonoma County Bike Shops and Groups. Find LOCALLY-OWNED Bicycle Shops for NEW, Used and Rental Bicycles as well as REPAIR. Look for a bike-riding group that suits your needs and style.

Locally-Owned Jewelry Businesses in Sonoma County

Find Goldsmiths and Jewelers who create custom designs, offer jewelry repair, estate appraisals, and gems.

Bookstores of Sonoma County - LOCAL GUIDE

Find a LOCALLY-OWNED Bookstore near you - CLICK HERE

Flower Shops and Florists of Sonoma County

Please support locally-owned businesses and tell them the Gazette sent you - THANK YOU!