At the intersection between afternoon and evening, in the slightly chilly parking lot of a senior wood-frame house, the cast and crew of “Nothing Comes to Mim,” a theater capstone written and directed by Will Blumberg ’22, explored several issues surrounding mind, body, identity, and heritage in an enchanting hundred-minute performance.

The show opened by establishing the protagonist, Mim (Cameron Bonnevie ’23), as an assigned-male-at-birth non-binary young adult living with their significant other (Drew Weddig ’24) in New York City. Over the first few scenes, the play bounced between this present time and Mim’s past, showing us their brother Matt (Shelby Pomeleo-Fowler ’25), their aunt-turned-guardian Sammy (Maren Westgard ’22), and Sammy’s boyfriend Marcus (Milton Espinoza Jr. ’22). We also are introduced later in the show to Mim’s childhood friend El (Jada Reid ’22) and Mim’s teenage queer love Amal (Sof Cohen ’23), along with Matt’s young gay romantic interest Andrew (Weddig) and, later, his girlfriend Anna (Maisie Hurwitz ’23).

In these early moments, we also see an adult Mim wrestle with the angelic spirit of Isaac (Talia Rodriguez ’24) as the struggle between their physical body and their mental identity is established early on. This becomes the main conflict of the show, with the show’s script, actors’ portrayals, and technicians’ audio-visuals masterfully displaying Mim’s internal battle.

Blumberg represents the body, with which Mim is almost continuously at war, through Amal’s philosophy of living in the moment, being grounded in one’s physical self above all else, and living for a good time. In a conversation between the two lovers before they see the “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Amal brings Mim out of a manic frenzy by pushing on a pressure point on their hand. As the scene changes, a presumably adult Mim cries out for Amal to squeeze their hands again, but Amal cannot hear, and walks out of the room.

On the other side, Matt’s philosophy of looking towards the future, holding mind above all else, and placing oneself in a familial heritage form the mental side of Mim’s internal war. The audience sees this in the siblings’ late-night argument about the future, their relationship to Judaism, and what they’ve each done with their lives.

As the show progresses, we see a number of different cutaway scenes between various times in Mim’s life, all of which add to the dichotomous war within Mim. We learn that Mim’s significant other in adulthood has gone to the hospital with an ambiguous yet severe disease (presumed to be AIDS, although it seems to be left purposefully vague). Mim grapples with this and their own bodily pain, continuing to wrestle with the heavenly Isaac.

Eventually, Mim starts communicating with the once-silent Isaac, who says that they will leave Mim alone once Mim learns what they need to know about themself. Mim, however, remains steadfast in their animosity towards their body, causing greater and greater physical pain.

The dueling philosophies come to a boiling point at the family’s Rosh Hashanah dinner the year before Mim is set to graduate. Amal, hoping to have Mim leave for New York City with them after graduation, gets into an argument with Sammy. Everything from the staging to the physicality to the dialogue itself contributes to this scene’s feelings of tension, importance, and potency.

As the play progressed, its tone shifted. Even fun scenes such as Mim and Sammy dancing and singing in the kitchen to “Life on Mars” by David Bowie were imbued with wistfulness and regret as Sammy envisioned her sister and Mim’s mother, Celia (Hurwitz), looking back at her disappointedly through the window.

As the play winds down, we see Matt visiting Mim’s apartment in the present-day. As the siblings share a moment, Matt apologizes for not communicating with his sibling better, and asks why Mim has been feeling so poorly lately. Mim asks if he wants the real answer or the lie, to which Matt asks for a surprise.

Mim says first that they threw their back out wrestling an angel, and then announces that they’re pregnant. It’s unclear which answer is the truth and which is the lie. The play concludes with Matt asking what the baby’s sex is, to which Mim responds “Does it matter?”

“Nothing Comes to Mim” is a fascinating and beautifully executed portrayal of queerness, Jewish identity, family bonds, and general identity, as well as countless other complex topics I couldn’t begin to summarize. The actors’ portrayals were all incredibly immersive and emotional, with characters that have more comedic lines while still grounded in the show’s surreal drama. It was a witty, thoughtful, and intense examination of its subject matter, and truly left the audience feeling intrigued and enlightened about the life and times of Mim.

Cameron Bonnevie is a Sports Editor for The Argus.

Sam Hilton can be reached at shilton@wesleyan.edu.

Comments are closed

Twitter