“Einstein’s Girl” is a one-woman show conceived and performed by Gia Mora combining cabaret, stand-up comedy, love in a technological age and . . . science. Yep, science. Theoretical physics to be precise. As Miz Mora says, the show is a “science of love … theoretically speaking.” She is in Los Angeles for one show only – March 15th at the Room 5 Lounge – and she sat down to chat with me about science and Einstein.
KM: How did you get the idea for this show and how long did it take to create?
GM: About two years ago, I was listening to Science Friday where physicist Lawrence Krauss was being interviewed about his latest book, A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing. And I realized that the beginning of a universe and the beginning of a love affair had some interesting parallels. They both hit you out of nowhere, they both change the course of history, and they both are defining events in our existences. Once I had the working metaphor, it took about a year of research to grasp the basics of theoretical physics and then to write the show and the music.
KM: Is it scripted, or is there an element of improv allowing the performance to change?
GM: The show works on a malleable outline–the arc is set, but what I say, which songs I sing, and whatever science is in the news cycle makes its way into the show. That means if you see the show three months apart, you’re likely to get 20-40 minutes of new material every time. And because it’s part stand-up comedy, it’s always open to improv depending on audience participation and reaction. That’s the best part–I never get bored!
KM: What is your science background? Why science and love?
GM: Aside from taking undergraduate physics, I have absolutely no science background which, in a strange way, enables me to talk about it the way I do. I want everyone to know that physics is a language we all can understand, and learning science from a non-scientist proves to my audience that they too can appreciate the universe in this new way. Science, like love, is a universal experience of reality. Taking two subjects that often defy explanation and using them to explore each other excites that part in my brain which won’t stop asking, “Why?”
KM: Why Einstein’s girl? Why not Newton’s Girl or Hawking’s Girl?
GM: I like the think that Einstein and I share some similarities. He was an avid lover of music, and he played violin when he was working out problems in his head. That’s how I use music as well–singing is how I suss out my place in the world. More than that, Einstein was a humanitarian who recognized the double edged sword of technological advancement and its complicated relationship to us little Earthlings. He is the perfect poet/philosopher/musician/scientist to tie together the many strings that make up EINSTEIN’S GIRL.
KM: What is your favorite part of the show?
GM: My favorite moment is when the audience realizes that this isn’t some serious concert or lecture series that requires them to be quiet and absorb. I ask a lot of my audience because I want them to go on this journey with me, and that journey includes everything from the latest advances in quantum mechanics to internet porn. I like to think the show is a bit of a rocket ride, and when I know my audience is hanging on tight ready for the next turn, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.