(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 1/13; via Pam Green.)
Who knew that higher physics could be so sexy, so accessible — and so emotionally devastating?
“Constellations,” Nick Payne’s gorgeous two-character drama, starring a perfectly matched Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, may be the most sophisticated date play Broadway has seen. This 70-minute fugue-like production, which opened on Tuesday night at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, takes that most elemental of dramatic setups — boy meets girl — and then spins it into a seeming infinitude of might-have-been alternatives.
This is achieved through the application of the principles of string theory, relativity and quantum mechanics, although don’t ask me to explain precisely how. In college, I barely squeaked through Physics for Poets. But I had no difficulty following the convolutions of the relationship between Roland (Mr. Gyllenhaal), a beekeeper, and Marianne (Ms. Wilson), a Cambridge University academic specializing in “theoretical early universe cosmology.”