Missed Connections review (opinion)

In showing us everything that’s wrong with the human race, “Missed Connections” also showed us everything that’s right. Written, directed, and performed by members of Scotch’n’Soda, the play showcased a beautifully well-chosen selection of Craigslist missed connections. Ranging from genuinely weird solicitations for companionship to truly gut-wrenching stories about loss, the show covered the entire range of human experience in a way that only really the universe of the internet could ever distill. The use of computers as props added a lot of this particular element as well as cohesion across what had the potential to be — but wasn’t — a very disjointed series of scenes. I’m going to get into my three favorite pieces from the show briefly, because they’ve been on my mind ever since I saw the show.

1. my girl and my fish

From the perspective of a young alcoholic man, “my girl and my fish” followed an abusive relationship through just a short 24-hour period. I think this piece was one of the most important in the show because it was the definite turning point from the show’s very comedic beginning to its very dramatic end. The use of props in this scene to change the space from one of order to one of chaos — especially via the actors throwing things around the stage — was one of the strongest stylistic choices made in the set and scenic design.

Really, though, this piece just shoved both its hands straight down into my chest and messed around in there until my ribs were tied together like pretzels. The man has a fish. Every man has his fish. He loves his fish. The woman flushes the fish down the toilet in a fit of rage, and now the man no longer has a fish. For a woman to deprive a man of his fish is one of the greatest evils the world could know — I had no idea how to fit it into my hands when I was watching it happen onstage.

2. the moving on series

The casting of this series of monologues was completely genius. Arrim Jung, Scotch’n’Soda performer, shone her fantastic range in this bittersweet, ageless, ethereal story. A woman is selling her things as she moves out of her apartment - moves out and moves on, it seems. Each item is accompanied by a story about how it fits into her moving-on, often delicate and vague little poems tied together with white linens and the steam from a mug of coffee. She is learning to be kind to herself; she has her whole life to learn the lessons, to grow from the ashes, to bask in the dusty sun on a Saturday morning.

3. the old man

This review would be completely remiss if it did not mention this particular monologue. An old man has been directed towards the internet to find the woman he met unexpectedly on the day he planned to kill himself over 40 years ago. He saw her on the street and knew he had to talk to her. They hit it off and then she disappeared without a trace. Every time he felt like he wanted to harm himself after that, he thought of her.

I’ve been saying this for a while now, but I think that if you look hard enough, you’ll see that everyone comes into your life for a particular reason. Sometimes that reason is more complex than other times. Sometimes there is just something really simple you need to learn. I think a lot of times, people meet someone who seems to hold a lot of potential for them in some way, and then when that person leaves, they are too busy mourning the loss of potential to see that the person has already taught them the thing they needed to learn. A real connection can never be missed if you’re willing to not miss it.