unbidden

Theater, Drama
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unbidden
Photograph: Joanne Hudson
Unbidden

At one point in unbidden, the main character, Dr. Julia Lamb, holds up a big mess of string—a metaphor for both for her work and the play. The premise is straightforward: Lamb (Chelsea Leigh Barrett) is in Iceland trying to unravel the human genome when, in a breach of protocol, she uses her own DNA and discovers that she has the genetic code for early-onset Alzheimer’s. Writer-director Joanne Hudson’s play is structured as pieces of Julia’s fragmented thought process, with the energetic Nathalie Leonard and Darius Copland flitting in and out as memory-stealing sprites. Our heroine frequently digresses, pontificating about multiple universes, the role of women in society, her hatred for her boyfriend, looking for a whale and, most important, her encroaching loss of memory. But what starts out as an intriguing concept—memory plays are in fashion this year—is muddled by an excess of plot strands and metaphors, none of them well enough developed to matter. In the end, the play’s string of consciousness seems hardly worth untangling.—Diep Tran

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Event website: http://fringenyc.org
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Amanda McNabb

Clearly, Diep Tran has no imagination or attention span. I saw this show and it was wonderful. Poetic and engaging and layered in meaning. It deals with so many issues that are currently overlapping in science, ethics and spirituality and I found it very poignant. The cast were delightful as well. I would highly recommend!