SNOWGLOBE (MacKnight Foundation): 60-second review

“If god is all powerful and god is all spiteful, why is there good in the world?”

macknight-snowglobeIn this white winter, Philadelphians might think they’ve been living in a shook up mantelpiece snow-globe. In Nicholas Wardigo’s smart, breezy SNOWGLOBE, now onstage at the Shubin Theatre, Ingrid (Charlotte Northeast) and Sonja (Amanda Schoonover) really do. There’s “gum-wrapper” fake snow, a flimsy tree, and a too-small house. And it’s warm, so why are they wearing winter clothes. “That’s a good question… so what’s the answer?” “No idea, that’s what makes it a good question.”

The two characters seek to understand these basic questions: why is the world the way it is. Ingrid uses scientific deduction and math (the world is 3.6 “cubic trees” in volume); Sonja looks for the hand of god. With clever repartee, SNOWGLOBE tackles deep existential questions. Under Bill McKinlay’s direction, the actors bring life and nuance to the Beckettian back-and-forth. Northeast’s palette of expressions is especially enriching. But though he presents science and religion as human endeavors, both seeking “truths” about the world and our place in it, Wardigo does little to reconcile the two viewpoints. The only drama is in the debate, and this never comes to a climax. An entertaining 60-minutes has passed, but at the end, the only thing the characters can agree on is that life is bleak. “QED… that’s maths for Amen.” January 23-February 9, 2014. macknight.yapsody.com.

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About the author

Christopher Munden

Your faithful correspondent and publisher Christopher Munden has written and edited for many publications, websites, and cultural institutions. He was an editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia. He's also a soccer coach and a pretty good skier.