One of the strangest treasures of 1970s exploitation cinema remains “The Man with Two Heads,” in which Rosey Grier and Ray Milland bicker at the interface of race relations and cutting-edge biotechnology. Mia McCullough’s “Echoes of Another Man,” which looks at the aftermath of the world’s first brain transplant, lacks the trashy bonhomie of such Saturday afternoon films. The play imagines the consequences of its science-fiction premise carefully and seriously. What impact would the operation have on people close to the patient and/or donor? How much of our pasts are contained in our brains, and how much in our bodies? While the questions that McCullough explores are fascinating in their own right, and arguably ones that may take on increasing relevance in the brave new days to come, the very meticulous approach that brings these questions out keeps the play from coming entirely to life. For instance, what really seems like monstrous cruelty on the part of the dying patient (Cory Krebsbach) toward his brain’s former lover Raina (Marguerite Hammersley) winds up just another marker of the characters’ relationships. Stage Left’s workable production leaves lots of food for thought, but less brain and more heart is in order. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.