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Yet as directed with a time-blurring seamlessness by Lila Neugebauer, and acted by a perfectly blended ensemble of nine, “The Antipodes” leaves you glowing with a wondering satisfaction.I mean the happy satiety that comes from being in the hands of a real right-brain/left-brain author who channels her ineffable instincts with a master artisan’s practical skills. Baker, who during the past decade has established herself as one of the freshest voices in American theater, has never been everyone’s cup of moonshine.) And one of the production’s many interwoven marvels is how it distorts our sense of time passing in the conference room.When did those plates of Japanese takeout materialize?
As rendered by the set designer Laura Jellinek, this room is centered on a long oval desk over which hangs a long oval lighting fixture, which is put to subliminally unsettling use.I can’t possibly single one out, so let me list those I haven’t already mentioned: Phillip James Brannon, Josh Charles, Josh Hamilton, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Danny Mc Carthy, Emily Cass Mc Donnell and Brian Miskell.“The Antipodes” is also deeply funny, but it’s naturally funny, and if it’s a satire, it’s an organic one.This playwright doesn’t need to exaggerate to elicit what’s absurd in the human condition. Baker hears the roar of eternity in the babble of our existence, and the futile heroism in our unending attempts to tell tales that might make sense of it all. Pershing Square Signature Center, Manhattan; 212-244-7529, Credits By Annie Baker; directed by Lila Neugebauer; sets by Laura Jellinek; costumes by Kaye Voyce; lighting by Tyler Micoleau; sound by Bray Poor; choreography by David Neumann; production stage manager, Laura Smith; associate artistic director, Beth Whitaker; general manager, Gilbert Medina.What’s more, unlike her perpetually thwarted characters, who chase their ideas with the exasperation of dogs running after their tails, Ms. Now “complete” may not be the term you’d apply to a play as steeped in ambiguities as this one.“The Antipodes” portrays a never-ending brainstorming session for unspecified purposes in an unspecified place.