If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet is a not nearly enthralling enough head scratcher by acclaimed British playwright Nick Payne, but it has some intriguing relationships, all stammering at cross purposes.
Brian F. O’Byrne is an academic who concerns himself with global warming, but not with the apparent melting down of his own family.
In comes his returning younger brother Terry, played by Jake Gyllenhaal in a T-shirt, chain necklace, jeans, sweater-around the-waist, facial hair, and quite good British accent.
This is Jake’s American stage debut, and he’s very effective, using lots of physicality for the stoner character, plumbing the guy’s awkward well-meaning quality and potentially darker instincts as he reconnects with his bullied niece (Annie Funke).
If he were some unknown, Jake’s definitely the kind of actor about whom you’d say, “Wow, he should be a movie star.”
And he’s competing with all the elements here.
Throughout the play, the cast throws pieces of furniture into a canal in front of the stage, and by the end–as you may have heard–the water seeps onto the stage as O’Byrne wonders, “Are we worth saving if we’re not prepared to change?”
Yes–if Jake Gylenhaal is part of the human race.
He–and the rest of the cast–take their curtain call ankle deep in water.