Time travel propels Moxie Theatre’s production of Madeleine George’s The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence. If ever a play aspired to the absolute hilt this is it. It’s a treatise on the complex, symbiotic relationship between human beings and the increasingly technological world in which we live. It’s a cautionary narrative about the perils of relying on the safety of externals at the expense of open emotion. It’s a “curious case” of love designed to conquer all but in the end, unable to. The eponymous Watson is actually four characters, all played by Justin Lang. Among them is Sherlock Holmes’ faithful cohort, of course; another is that computer that whipped up on humans on “Jeopardy.” The Watson who’s one-half of the love story, a hormonal computer dweeb, is earnest and sensitive to the point that you prefer a robot. Jo Anne Glover is the object of his affections. Her character, Eliza’s, aching confusion about the value and integrity of genuine feelings makes for a muddled conclusion. Eddie Yaroch, whether in present-day or historical roles, shines, and he shines more brightly than do the proffered truths of this play.
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.