Unfortunately, Goldberg's play in the end symbolizes what she's condemning: self-induced anomie. In a series of fragmented--almost hallucinogenic--scenes, she flails around for meaning while her characters writhe on the floor and those rotating light fixtures implicate the audience in the destructive behavior. Mimi is so undone by a fear that her body won't obey her that she often can only rock herself rhythmically. Sara, however, is so caught up in finding a news story with which she can make her name she doesn't even notice her stepsister's plight. (She's as obtuse as Patricia is astute.)
And speaking of Sara and investigative journalism, what kind of journalist is she? Apparently, she has neither affiliation nor scruples--she's prepared to sleep with both Julian and Simon if she thinks that'll boost her chance of a scoop. Moreover, why is Greg carrying out the investigation into Dominic's disappearance and murder by himself? The answer to these and numerous equally baffling questions is not forthcoming.
In the overwrought contemporary melodrama, Goldberg gives the impression she's declaiming too many profundities to be held to dramaturgical sense. She's in good company, too, since her collaborators seem to think they must underscore her significance with loud noises and crinkly Mylar backdrops and searchlights and shiny Venetian blinds. (In addition to his work on lights, Mueller designed the tall, predominantly black-and-red set with Scott Spahr; Ray Sweeten, not living up to his name, is responsible for the original music and sound design.)
Director Ruben Polendo hasn't controlled any of the excesses, either. It's more like he's encouraged his players to keep going over the top until they can wave from an orbit somewhere in outer space. For the record, those doing ensemble scenery-chewing include Kellie Overbey, Daniel Bess, Corey Stoll, Bill Torres, Elizabeth Reaser and Chris Messina, who succeeds in making Joe Buck extra-special creepy.
"There is no reason," Sara says as The Hologram Theory begins. "No reason at all." Perhaps she's talking about this piece. After all, a hologram is an image that gives the impression of being three dimensional when there's nothing there, which may be an apt description of Jessica Goldberg's forlorn play.