I guarantee that anyone coming out of a performance of Oracle Productions’ “Scotland Road” will be hard-pressed to forget its exceptional musical score. An original work by local composer Nicholas Troy and featuring the sublime vocals of local performer Laura Glyda—think a darker Enya or Julee Cruise’s “Falling” and you get the idea—the musical soundscape immediately places you within “Scotland”’s emotionally solemn world. This is a good thing since neither director Ben Fuchsen nor the technical capabilities of Gimpydog Productions, Oracle’s multimedia partner in crime, know what to do with you once you are there. It’s a shame since playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s drama has the potential for searing psychological exploration. “Scotland Road” is the story of a woman found floating on an iceberg ninety-five years after the Titanic went down, as well as the emotional journey of the man interviewing her who is obsessed with “nostalgia for an event he never experienced himself.” The characters are few. The dialogue is terse. Questions remain unanswered and the ending is ambiguous. Since Oracle is about the integration of film and multimedia with theater to tell a story, a story like Hatcher’s, which could have been ripe for Bergmanian treatment—extended and uncomfortably long close-ups combined with that solemn music, for example—seems to have barely received any noteworthy filmic treatment at all, let alone one that would have been benefited the telling of this story in particular. Unless I dozed off and didn’t know it—blame that hypnotic score—the multimedia was limited to some routine video bookending and some scenes told though a split image device reminiscent of filmmaker Brian de Palma; a camera on stage portrays the real-time events simultaneously happening in another room. Nothing that a smart set design and lighting couldn’t have accomplished for half the technical trouble. Disappointing. Too bad “Scotland Road” isn’t a musical. (Fabrizio O. Almeida)
Oracle Theatre, 3809 N. Broadway, (773)244-2980. Thu-Sat 8pm/Sun 7pm. $15-$20. Through May 27.