Review: Continuity at Manhattan Theater Club

May 21, 2019

Don't be fooled by the fact that it's snowing inside the theater. Because in Bess Wohl's comedy Continuity, directed by Rachel Chavkin, the setting is a sheet of ice in one of the last places you would expect: the desert of New Mexico. And on this iceberg, a mad eco-terrorist plants a bomb to try and save humanity; while a worn out film crew works to get the perfect shot before losing the light. Wohl's play, in all its entertaining glory asks two questions. The first, "How do we keep going when hope seems as fictional as a Hollywood ending?" and the second, "What's for lunch?"

 

What makes Continuity different from other plays you will see is that it largely features the same scene over and over again, creating a satire about the film industry and the way they approach topical issues. In this case, that issue is climate change. The film within a play approach creates the perfect frame for the stories being told on the camera, and off the camera. 

 

Despite being a satire, one of the most profound things that comes across in Wohl's writing is how life can change from being playful and fun to being marked by tragedy in an instant. And while the characters Wohl has created may fall into Hollywood stereotypes at first glance, they are able to break out of these molds to become fully dimensional characters that captures the audience's attention, and their heart. 

 

What really makes these characters work however, are the brilliant actors that are giving it their all. The cast, consisting of Max Baker, Jasmine Batchelor, Rosal Colón, Curran Connor, Garcia, Darren Goldstein, Alex Hurt, and Megan Ketch; are able to seamlessly merge the collision of science and storytelling that are at the heart of Continuity with both hilarious and heartbreaking results. 

 

Refreshing, engaging, thought-provoking, and more relevant than ever, Continuity is not to be missed. The dialogue on climate change feels more centric than before when looked at through the lens of a Hollywood movie, as it questions how one can keep going in the state of the world when hope just doesn't want to appear at your door.

 

 

 

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