note: entire contents copyright 2005 by Beverly Creasey
That wacky gang who used to be called the Theater Of Relativity is now producing a children’s show which takes a lightly serious look at Einstein’s theory of relativity. Just a coincidence? Maybe. The very good news is that the show (at Jimmy Tingle’s Off Broadway Theatre) is adorable ---and educational but don’t tell the kids it’s good for them. Little tykes were squealing with delight at the antics on stage when I went.
In Jason Taylor’s wildly imaginative SILLY EINSTEIN, E = mc2 could take on new meaning, like “This Entertainment Equals Merry Children in Davis Squared” for example. Some of the show, as its name asserts, is mighty silly but Taylor and co-director Michael O’Halloran had the genius to cast the hilarious Larry Loveridge as Einstein. Loveridge can impart some pretty heavy science lessons while he’s tickling our funny bones. (And now I even understand the concept of the ‘speed of light’ thanks to Taylor and company.)
The versatile Taylor plays the emcee, as a cross between a Mafia don and Colonel Klink, making the show a hoot for parents as well as kids, and the talented Michele Markarian plays (the thankless role of) Einstein’s kvetching, nagging wife, as well as a stuffy town father. (I would complain that the only female character in the play is a harpy…if I hadn’t had so much fun—so I’ll stifle my feminist umbrage.) When Einstein asks us to warn him if the disapproving Mrs. Einstein is on her way, one five year old behind me yelled, “Watch out. It’s your mother coming!” Needless to say, that little boy related to the story like gangbusters.
Jim Loutzenhiser gets lots of laughs as the straight man who, like the Inspector General, is the center of a whirl of mistaken identity. When Loveridge and Loutzenhiser compare their notions of the gravitational pull of the earth, each twirls around the stage with awkward abandon ----which is immediately imitated by the kids when the show is over.
The play has a sweet message to boot: It’s OK to be different, peculiar even. Look what silly Einstein achieved! SILLY EINSTEIN returns to Jimmy Tingle’s in March. If you can’t get there at the speed of light, just take the Red Line to Davis Square.