Review: ‘Kurt Vonnegut’s Make Up Your Mind’ resurrects an old work, but lacks much life

BCA ResCo - SpeakEasy Stage Company - Make Up Your Mind

Fortunately for fans everywhere, the legacy of Kurt Vonnegut remains fully intact — despite Script Assembler Nicky Silver’s futile attempt at reviving the novelist’s only (failed) attempt at a play.

Vonnegut devotees will likely agree that “Kurt Vonnegut’s Make Up Your Mind” is but a momentary hiccup in a career that birthed classics like “Cat’s Cradle,” “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “Jailbird.” Anyone else who sees SpeakEasy Stage Company’s world premiere will likely forget it even happened shortly after leaving the theater.

There’s not much to it. It’s not a bad production, just a forgettable wisp of a play that relies on the playwright’s name to get people interested. Unfortunately, the plot is weak, lacking the intensity and imagination that makes Vonnegut who he is.

On the bright side, the characters do possess some of his trademark quirkiness, and there are funny moments and a number of laughs. But there’s no edge — its dark side feels more like sketch comedy than a fascinating exploration into the nature of being human.

Even the set, which includes a series of animated Vonnegut illustrations, feels like it somehow just misses the mark.

With a line like “loneliness is the cancer that’s killing us,” it’s clear the playwright wants to drive you to the most vulnerable place in your own heart. But here, spoken by a woman having great sex with a much younger (and poorer) man than the tycoon she married, it fails to hit that mark.

Nobody wants another Vonnegut work to surface more than his legions of fans, but, alas, “Make Up Your Mind” is one that was best left untouched and intact, deep in his considerable archives.

If you go

Through Nov. 30
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St., Boston
Starting at $25
617-933-8600
SpeakEasyStage.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."