Having caught opening night of Walking Shadow's The Transdimensional Couriers Union
last Friday, the mind still reels with the satisfying complexity of John Heimbuch
's script. This time-travel adventure hurls six characters back and forth across centuries, meeting one another at various points along their particular time-lines. Amazingly, it all makes sense, and makes for a very fine play.
The plot revolves around an iPhone sized gizmo called the CX9 Impulse Device. When it becomes available to consumers in 2012, the resultant flurry of time travel causes the order of the world to collapse; intrepid entrepreneurs then do business in organizing and tracking various alternate realities. Not that it makes them particularly happy.
The play is full of mind-blowing corporate espionage, backstabbing, reality-bending twists, and tormented romance. When Renee (Anna Sundberg) implores Peter (Sid Solomon) to get it on with her, in a laboratory at the end of known time, her impassioned speech brings us back round to what our lives need in order to add up: moments, sensual ephemera, a sense of the extraordinary that only exists in the presence of the commonplace.
Aside from that, though, this is top-notch science fiction. Heimbuch manages to answer both the question of 2012 prophesies and why time travelers from the future haven't visited us (if either of these topics have intrigued you, you need to get out to see this show). And niftiest of all, the story works both on the human level as well as the speculative (the sci-fi Holy Grail).
Over the weekend, former Fringe Festival director and current head of the Minnesota Theater Alliance Leah Cooper tweeted: "Transdimensional Couriers Union. I'm a closet sci-fi dork, and this was the smartest sci-fi ever. Also a damn great show."
What she said.
The Transdimensional Couriers Union runs through May 29 at the People's Center Theater. For information and tickets click here.