Theatre Review

Wilbury’s ‘Constellations’ is timeless romance

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Entering the spacious Wilbury Theatre is always an experience.

Artistic Director Josh Short utilizes the entire area for Nick Payne’s ethereal “Constellations,” draping 10 long white curtains that stretch back to an eternal blackness, with the two characters wandering aimlessly through them as the audience takes their seats.

The 80-minute, one-act play begins as Marianne (Rachel Delude) and Roland (Josh Short) meet and get to know each other. We learn that Roland is a beekeeper and Marianne is a cosmologist. (She studies the origin and evolution of the universe). The two engage in conversation, which is often repeated with subtle changes in brief vignettes. It takes a moment to catch on to the clever use of time, space, words and gestures that the author gives to his two actors.

We soon figure out that as little as one word could change your life. And it does, as Marianne and Roland get to know each other, split up and come back together.

The different scenarios are handled smoothly with simple movements aided by good direction from Aubrey Snowden and lighting by Kelly Lipsey.

The simple relationship story has a variety of outcomes, touching frequently on cosmic universal theories, while looking at life more simply through the behavior of bees.

Dulude and Short, both Actors’ Equity members, show their talents through the perfect timing, emotion and simple gestures, playing off each other to perfection.

Short has the knack of finding interesting plays that invite your attention to something a little bit different than your ordinary play. “Constellations” is such a play. Go see it.

At Wilbury Theatre, 40 Sonoma Court in Olneyville, through April 14. Call 400-7100 for reservations.

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