Part of FringeNYC: An autonomous robot is creating art. And people are buying it. In this explosive two-hander, a fallow painter and his powerful agent discover the discord between their true colors and risk their long relationship by asking: is creativity uniquely human? More…
Categories: Drama, Comedy, Local. From Chaos Theatre. Written by Alex Hersler. Directed by Richard C. Aven.
"Sean Shannon and Terrence Montgomery star in the intelligent, amusing, and thought-provoking two-hander...Under Richard C. Aven’s direction, the actors balance the men’s explosive confrontations with the shifting dynamics of their power and reversals in their thinking and behavior, creating compelling multi-faceted figures in a complex relationship that is at times funny, but often painful in their insults, threats, and deeds." Full Review
"'Algorithmism' introduces wonderful queries and is full of evocative ideas, but at times, I felt as though some complexities were under-explored...The piece might benefit from a bit more time to expand, but it is, nonetheless, tremendously compelling. Hersler’s play is intelligent, witty, and explores pressing questions that linger unspoken in our present Age of Artificial Intelligence." Full Review
"Hersler picks a timely subject to hash out onstage…Yet, as the scenes between Paul and Tom unfold, their debate over the definition of artistic 'innovation' circles the same points without moving in any surprising directions: Is art in the eye of the beholder? Is beauty any less valid if it comes from a machine rather than a human? If Hersler continues further down the intricate paths that these questions open up, he could have himself a real work of art." Full Review
"Hersler has a brilliant concept…The trouble was Hersler's two-hander talks in circles. The story of art gallery owner Tom and his pride and joy artist Paul seems to lack character depth, instead opting for intellect...Overall, the message Alex Hersler provides in his play is promising. He's no John Logan but this really is an art play that wants to be discussed. With the execution slightly amiss, the potential of 'Algorithmism' was never quite found." Full Review
See it if Like good storyline. Like thought provoking theater. Like to talk about your take on the writers message. Like to find Fringe "gems".
Don't see it if Can't think through the underlying messages of a writer. Have no interest in art--even though the message is bigger than art.
See it if you wish to support fringe theater; looking for fast-paced dialog.
Don't see it if frustrated with authors who, for the sake of fast dialog, throw everything in so characters come-off having no believable inner track.
See it if You like thematically bold, intelligent challenging theater.
Don't see it if You just want to laugh, or prefer the usual NYC theater staple of middle class couples with relationship problems.
See it if You're interested in visual arts or part of that scene, or if you're queasy about the growing role of technology in all aspects of our lives
Don't see it if You have no patience for scenes that are a bit too drawn out for the point they're getting across
See it if you want some thoughtful takes on a difficult question of what art - and popular art - means. Acting can be great at times.
Don't see it if you want a strong and clear resolution of the question, or even of the story arc. Still worth seeing, though.
See it if You're looking for a "portrait of an artist" show starring two white men fighting over a very simple plot.
Don't see it if You're looking for anything that answers the question: "is creativity uniquely human?". It resists change instead of exploring it.