The Information She Carried
nytheatre.com review by Gyda Arber
March 31, 2005
The amazing set for The Information She Carried—worn-out file cabinets over-stuffed with papers that create chairs, a couch, and a bed—suggests a dark, compelling mystery filled with plot twists at every turn. David L. Williams’s script gets off to a great start, but never fully rises to the heights that Kley Gilbuena’s set promises. The show is, however, a very entertaining evening, appealing to the little part in all of us that wants to believe that it’s all just a conspiracy.
The play focuses on conspiracy theorist Sharon North (Breanna Pine), a young woman whose intense reaction to the Challenger explosion has led her to speculate about everything from 9/11 to George Washington’s presidency. At the top of the play, North breaks into an apartment to steal the “Chapman Death Ball,” the baseball that killed player Ray Chapman in a 1920 Yankees-Indians game that she believes has been cursed by the Illuminati. While there she meets Billy Shepherd (Christopher Drescher), whose unlucky proclivity to be in the wrong place at the wrong time both intrigues and attracts her. The play continues to explore North’s conspiracy ideas and her mental state; we are continually unsure if she knows something we don’t or if she’s just plain crazy.
Carolyn Malone’s direction is generally good, though a bit slow at times. I feel she lets her actors get off a bit easy; the funny parts are never as funny as they could be, the dramatic parts never quite as touching. Standouts in the cast include Judson Jones as one of the drunk inhabitants of the apartment, Matthew Morgan as North’s accomplice, and Christine Carroll as North’s “imaginary friend,” whom she talks to throughout the play.
Williams is clearly a very talented young writer; his intriguing ideas fit well with his dry, comic dialogue (that, unfortunately, his actors don’t always pull off). I’m intrigued to see what he comes up with next—I think he may be on to something.