We must carry on. We must make art..
Howard Ho's World Premiere play "RESET" takes place in an unlikely bunker? way up yonder in Chernobyl. Hot Stuff. An unlikely pair of scientists Aiko Tanaka (Greta Jung) and Lateen Anderson (Zachary Bones) receive a new 'client': James (Tyler Perez ).
When we toss Schrodinger's Cat into the mix and get into quantum physics, do not be dismayed. The best is yet to come..
James arrives blindfolded, wrapped in a hazmat suit having "passed" some sort of preliminary test. He's been romanced to the site of the 1986 Chernoybl meltdown in Ukraine.
The iffy sci-fi idea of how the Universe may be affected by a disaster such as the nuclear accident posits a 'mirror' universe that turns, I think, on the half life of plutonium 239.
"Agency to change.." "Moral arc of the Universe: MLK" Monkeys on keyboards : Shakespeare? Butterfly effect??
Jim is a copywriter and as he is coaxed to venture deeper into the experiment he mentions the "mendacious effect of words." James is tempted to continue because "the sake of humanity hangs in the balance!" All of these buzz terms factor into Ho's text as we twist and turn with James offered bizarre opportunities to become a 'better person.' His 'best self.
The Schrodinger model re: the living /dead cat factors in. It is heady stuff.
James 'summons' a gift from the Universe that arrives in a special mailbox with a fortune cookie type message. The message is supposed to guide him to be his 'better self.' I'm using lots of quotation marks here because this theory and subsequent presentation is far out speculation. With a flash bang and black out, we meet another James (Carl Weintraub!) 34 years our current James's senior. His doppleganger? No.. it's really James in an alternate Universe!? Weintraub's first iteration (there are four!) is practically subhuman. Agitated and manic! "Nothing Matters" is his mantra and current James takes it all in.
A somewhat mind numbing story now unfolds with James tempted to see what's behind door numbers two, three and four.. so to speak with the "What Ifs" piling up as he is drawn to the ethical and moral issues that ask .. essentially: "Does anything' matter?"
Bones and Jung bring home the scientists. Bones was a little difficult to understand at times because of his British accent. Ms Jung with softer projection than the men was basically fine. .
|Carl Weintraub and Tyler Perez|
Perez finds all the beats & levels of whom we think is an average American guy, but we begin to see a dark underbelly that plays just fine.
Weintraub is a trip as he transitions from his wild man to a successful middle class fella to a very successful Dude. to a meglomaniacal tyrant.
Are each of us always responsible for our personal choices in life?
Robert Frost's "Road Not Taken" rears its head a couple of times and the term "bifurcated diagram.." divides into two specific parts and has something to do with choices we make and how to take advantage of this "opportunity" to live a better life: to be a better person.
Is there a moral arc to the Universe? Does 'God' care Can mortals create a way to control what "The Universe" may have in store? Is there an Infinite Mind? Does God make Little Green Apples?
Existential and a little loopy, Ho's play sets in motion the idea that each of us may... or may not? have a positive affect on our success as human beings. Our own humanity.
Addendum: Having just read the story of Queen's release of Bohemian Rhapsody and the correlative story of Faust.. and Freddy Mercury.. there may be Faustian elements here, too?? Wow..
Book and Sound Design by
Justin HuenProduced by
PR: Scott Golden
RESET by Howard Ho!
Directed by Darren Anthony
The world premiere