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Megacosm at A Red Orchid Theatre | Theater review

Brett Neveu displays a giddy facility with doublespeak in his dystopian new comedy.

Photograph: Michael Brosilow
Megacosm at A Red Orchid Theatre

Protests rage outside the cold corporate setting of Brett Neveu’s dystopian new comedy. What the crowds—the “tightshirts,” as agitated industrialist Britt (Danny McCarthy) calls them—are protesting is as much a mystery at first as is the nature of Britt’s industry. Chris (Larry Grimm), an inventor—he prefers creator—has arrived to pitch Britt on his new brainchild, a product he claims will change our very perception of life. But Britt’s a bit distracted by both the tightshirts outside and a brewing rebellion within the company’s walls.

Neveu shows off a giddy facility with Orwellian doublespeak; Chris’s description of his creation as “what the Hindis call zindagi” becomes a meaningless mantra, while Britt blithely rattles off a product’s potential side effects that include “lung needles” and “cranial spotting.” Grimm and especially McCarthy ace the playwright’s verbal acrobatics, with David Steiger and Eden Strong providing able support as corporate minions who add to the mystery. Neveu’s plot deflates in the final third; questions raised about corporate greed, creative control and bioethics are left hanging while convoluted threads are perfunctorily tied up. The world he’s created is an entertaining one, but he needs to find a better way to end it.

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