Megacosm

By Brett NeveuMegacosm by Brett Neveu

Directed by Dado

At A Red Orchid Theatre, Chicago

Terror and chaos leads to revolts against corporate giants.

From the runway stage (set designed by John Dalton) surrounded by metal drawers and a group of view monitors to the amazing video (by Seth Henrikson) and the effective lighting from Matthew Gawryk together with sound design by Joe Court, the atmosphere emerges into a futuristic corporate world that hints of a Twilight Zone  episode.

Prolific playwright Brett Neveu, a company member of A Red Orchid, presents his sixth world premiere at the intimate Old Town Chicago theatre. Megacosm is an amazingly eerie and totally engrossing cliff-hanger 85 minute one-act comic mystery.

Megacosm by Brett Neveu

Chris (Larry Grimm) is a nerdy shaggy-haired inventor anxious to make a presentation to Britt (Danny McCarthy) the head of a multinational corporation. The atmosphere around the company’s headquarters is ripe with violent protestors. Britt is nervous about Chris’ creation yet he plays verbal games with the inventor to establish control in the anticipated negotiations to come. The verbal sparing is humorous and tone-setting.

Megacosm by Brett Neveu

The atmosphere of chaos and revolt is in the air both from outside and internally -especially from Sam (David Steiger) who creeps out Chris when he is introduced by Britt as his assistant. Sam is double crossing Britt.

But Britt is determined to see what Chris has invented. Chris claims that his invention will change the world for good. The presentation of Chris’ invention is vividly and effectively presented utilizing the outstanding video.  Add the  terrifying entrance of nine-year old Eden Strong playing a flawed corporate experiment named Carol. This knife wielding little person is violently attacking Britt blaming him for her defects.

Megacosm by Brett Neveu

I’ll not give away much more so as not to spoil the eerie plot twists. Megacosm is filled with mind-bending existential terror with mysterious twists, violence mixed into some humorous situations. Megacosm is part dark comedy, part mystery and part cautionary tale about abuses and greed of multinational corporations especially with new product development. This play is a scary reminder of the power of large corporations to rule the world with pure profit-driven policies.

Danny McCarthy give a tour de force performance as the wound-too-tight Britt. Larry Grimm has the nerdy scientist down pat while David Steiger is eerie as the Lurch-type assistant Sam. Eden Strong was scary as the mutant little person- terrific work for a nine0year old.

Terror, chaos and violence rule this intense and unsettling work. Director Dado has staged Neveu’s world with emotionally explosive characters struggling to control a world gone haywire with mass-produced creatures. The power situations, strongly performed make Megacosm a hilarious yet alarming evening of theatre. The sheer strength of live theatre magnifies Neveu’s  script ten-fold.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: January 15, 2012

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout the Megacosm page on theatreinchicago.com

At A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells, Chicago, IL, call 312-943-8722, www.aredorchidtheatre.org, tickets $25 – $30, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3pm, running time 85 minutes without intermission, through February 26, 2012