In the 20th century during the time of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, there was an explosion of scientific creativity and one of the greatest minds this world has ever known was born. On March 14, 1879, in a historical territory called Württemberg, Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany. At the age of 42, he won the Nobel Prize for physics and immigrated to the U.S. in the following decade after being targeted by the Nazis.
His name has become synonymous with the word “genius” and he was a man with insightful influence with regards to scientific research that garnered him the title “Poster Boy.” Known as a brilliant deep thinker who published four papers that changed the course of how we see modern physics, Einstein’s primary focus was work and not family because he felt it was a distraction and hindrance to achieving success.
Einstein, the brilliant mastermind physicist who achieved pioneering research on how our universe functions and the man who invented the “Theory of Relativity,” is featured in an extraordinary play at the Northlight Theatre.
Interestingly, in 1902 Albert Einstein had a baby daughter named Lieserl with Mileva Einstein; however, in 1904 her existence was gone like the chalk on the blackboard as though Einstein erased an equation. It was said that she contracted Scarlet Fever, which could cause brain damage, and to Einstein, a child who could not think was dead already and the slate of the baby girl named Lieserl was wiped clean like a miscalculated error.
No one could have imagined Albert Einstein, the most influential physicist of the 20th century who developed the theory of relativity, had a dark side. This iconic genius whose theories of relativity led to new ways of looking at time, space, matter, energy and gravity couldn’t comprehend the theory of the appreciation of life. He gave up before he understood that the theory of survival is mankind’s greatest achievement. But he was about to learn that even if you erase what you wrote on the blackboard, the elements of chalk are still in the air.
“Relativity” Artistic Director BJ Jones introduces us to another side of the scientist-philosopher who knew just how to describe the human condition, except his own. Jones gives us a glimpse into Einstein’s world as the great professor, the father of innovation, the man who had many mistresses but a man whose greatest challenge of being a husband and a father might have been too tough an equation to prove.
“Relativity” features a cast of three. Albert Einstein was masterfully played by 94-year-old Mike Nussaum, the godfather of acting (and we heard he does around 100 pushups every morning to stay in shape). Mike brought Albert Einstein to life not just because he looks like him with the
ungroomed mane but also because of his delightful depiction of Albert Einstein’s quick witted humor. He even brings out the not so joyful Einstein when he can’t find his chalk or as he uncomfortably tries to explain the reason to his daughter’s disappearance.
Rounding out the ensemble are two lovely women who both deliver stellar performances in their own right without taking anything away from the star (Einstein). Katherine Keberlein (Margaret Harding) plays a reporter from the “Jewish Daily” whom Einstein agrees to do an interview with and invites her to his home office. This encounter begins an intellectual discord of conversation that will lead you to a conclusion as to Margaret’s true identity.
Ann Whitney (Helen Dukas) plays Einstein’s assistant and caretaker who was one not to be messed with when it came to Einstein and his legacy. She was not in all of the scenes, but when she was, she commanded our attention with her hearty, compelling and convincing performance.
We recommend that you go and see “Relativity.” You will be pleasantly Glücklich (happy) with how good this play will make you feel. After all, according to Einstein, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
The cast of “Relativity” includes:
Mike Nussbaum (Albert Einstein)
Ann Whitney (Helen Dukas).