“Noisy and full of crap.” That’s Molly (Clare Mahoney) describing the data one gets when trying to reduce messy living things down to mere data points. She’s a Bio grad student attempting a connection with compsci grad student, Elliot (Jonathan Silver). He’s an algorithm guy, although one who favors programs that behave more like living things. The two attract each other with words they might not always totally mean, and they can’t always say what’s actually on their minds. COMPLETENESS, by Itamar Moses, is a funny and talky exploration of the way smart, scarred people come together, and what happens if they move apart.
Our characters discuss arcane ideas like “NP-Complete problems in polynomial time” and the “interactome” (how all proteins in your body interact!), and yet director Daniel O’Neil’s pacing is lively throughout. The blocking is stilted at times, but this mainly stood out only because of the otherwise charming naturalism of the cast, which also includes Mary Beth Shrader as Lauren, Katie, and Nell, and the impressive Sam Sherburne as Don, Clark, and Franklin (the lines between the multiple roles is murky at times, though). Moses could have explored the deus ex machina ending more, but the highlight is a moment halfway through the second act: a few seconds with the whole cast that are so utterly truthful that this reviewer got the tingles. [Caplan Studio Theater at the University of the Arts.] September 5-14, 2013. http://fringearts.ticketleap.