Relationships are complicated enough without their moments of high drama recurring over and over again, and not always in the same way. But in the “multiverse” explained by physicist Marianne, the more grating half of the two lovers in Nick Payne’s techno-contrived Constellations, that’s the dynamic not only of love but of all human interaction. It’s within this sphere of scientific exposition that the 75-minute Constellations, directed by Richard Seer, unfolds in the Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre.
The decidedly non-linear story of Marianne (Victoria Frings) and Roland (Christian Coulson) is likely to get under your skin in a hurry. Whether that’s a pleasant or annoying experience may hinge on the following: your scientific literacy; your affinity for numerous workshoppy moments in which the actors exchange the same lines of dialogue while reflecting different attitudes or temperaments; and your own romantic past. If only the secrets of this multiverse were as illuminating as Bradley King’s exquisite lighting design.
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.