David Field’s play makes passing references to the eerie, probabilistic world revealed by quantum mechanics, but it remains at its core thoroughly deterministic. Field’s story centers on Oscar Newman (Aaron Roman Weiner), a brilliant young physicist whose trajectory is subject to a number of disturbing influences. There’s his mentor Neal Julian (Matt DeCaro), a failed researcher turned administrator; there’s John Slocum (J.J. Johnston), the tough-talking robotics executive who wants him to head a new research institute; and there’s his new office mate, the inscrutable Ecco Sagada (Jennifer Liu), who, when not eating sushi or practicing tai chi, admonishes Oscar that “logic is a Western disease.” Unlike Michael Frayn’s “Copenhagen,” “Symmetry” uses physics merely as a narrative hook: Oscar could have been a prodigious young musician or marketing analyst without significantly changing the play, though we might have been spared his final epiphany that Western math must be left behind. Victory Gardens’ premiere does little to enliven Field’s dreary collection of character types. As if to dramatize the lessons of string theory, the actors often appear to inhabit separate dimensions, with Johnston phoning in his crusty executive from the vicinity of Baltimore. God may not play dice, but theater companies have to; “Symmetry” is not Victory Gardens’ finest throw. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.