Now that I've been exposed to it, I'm looking back in puzzlement. She's clearly got a lot on her mind, but how it isn't just a rehash of everyone else who's ever despaired about society coming apart at the seams eludes me. How it is at all fresh or illuminating also escapes me.
In a literal way, it actually does illuminate--at least in the Blue Light Theater Co.'s production, for which lighting designer Ryan M. Mueller has rigged equipment not only to throw thick, blaring beams (and strobe light effects) on the stage, but also to hit the audience square in the eyes every once in a while. It's as if the ticket-buyers have been assembled for a police grilling.
Which does follow a certain logic, since in The Hologram Theory a police inquiry is set in motion when a young woman called Patricia leaves her Trinidad home to visit New York City. Patricia is prompted to travel because she's concerned about her twin brother, Dominic. As it happens, Patricia communicates with Dominic in her reveries, and in his most recent telepathic dispatch, he gave her disturbing news: he was dead.
To her chagrin, Patricia's premonitions are confirmed. Dissoluting around town under the name Shango, Dominic had patronized a club called the Palace. There, he fell in with four club kids who murdered him and then, on orders from their leader, Joe Buck, chopped up his corpse and stashed it in Mylar-covered boxes. (Goldberg's has based her work on the club-related Angel Menendez killing a few years back.) One of the kids, Julian, is so conscience-ridden that he finds himself spilling the beans about the crime to a reporter, his girlfriend Mimi's stepsister Sara.
If there seems to be an abundance of coincidental links between the characters in The Hologram Theory, it's no accident. They cross each other's paths and troop into each other's apartments--all of them, that is, except Ritah, the haranguing, Brooklyn-stuck wife of a rookie cop, Greg, who is single-handedly carrying out the search for Dominic. The remaining person in this round robin is Julian's father, Simon, a writer who's something of an idol to Sara, until she seduces him--or does he seduce her? He, too, gets to drop in at Sara's crowded flat where his troubled son is crashing. The misguided friends and lovers in this tight circle don't stop spinning until they realize what they've got to do: reunite Dominic's various parts and, as a consequence, lay his spirit and theirs to rest.