I was asked to captain a survey team for The Broadway League on Saturday for the matinee of Manhattan Theatre Club’s “Constellations.” It received raves from the New York Times and has pretty much been sold out since previews. We were told over and over that we probably wouldn’t be able to watch the performance since they are always sold out, but it was cold out and there had to be subscribers that would refuse to walk out into the cold, right? Right. I’ve never seen a show with not a single seat empty – there’s always something.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, this show straight from the National Theatre of Scotland couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. With the semi-recent release of Interstellar, this show is very related. Ruth Wilson plays Marianne, a cosmologist, and Jake Gyllenhaal is Roland, a bee keeper. One of their first conversations they have is about her work in which she says there are many parallel universes all existing at the same time and every choice we could make, we do make, but in separate universes.
Well, in Constellations, there are 8 universes and we see all of them. You could say it’s like If/Then but without music and more artistic. More subtle. More beautiful (no offense to If/Then). The set is simplistic – a slightly raised dark blue platform (which has honey combs outlined on it) with dozens of white balloons hanging from the ceiling. Wilson and Gyllenhaal were both magnificent. They’re both amazing actors.
If you can scrounge up a ticket to Constellations, consider yourself lucky.