Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Time Stands Still

To officially open my Fall 2010 Broadway season - I think I may have picked the best play on Broadway - (again).  Time Stands Still had a limited run last season in the spring at Manhattan Theatre Club.  Due to the overwhelming success, it is now attempting a commercial run at the Cort Theatre with virtually the entire cast intact - minus Alicia Silverstone who is being replaced by Christina Ricci.

Donald Margulies' plot is quite straightforward, yet offers no simple answers.  Does a journalist, photographer, or other documentarian have any responsibility to intervene in the subject matter they are witnessing?  Be it war, famine, natural disaster - can they, or, more importantly, should they step in?  Can they emotionally detach themselves from all that is going on around them?

Laura Linney takes on this moral dilemma as Sarah, a well traveled, well respected wartime journalist (think Christiane Amanpour) who gets "blown up" by a roadside bomb while on assignment.   Margulies explores the roots of her issues - her childhood and family, her relationship with reporter-boyfriend James (Brian D'Arcy James), and long-time magazine editor, Richard (Eric Bogosian).   The entire cast, including Ricci (whom I saw make a satisfying first public performance) was enthralling.  Margulies has thrown them (and us) quite a few bones to gnaw on - the state of true journalism vs the 24 hour news cycle and the Hollywood fluff, family, trust, purpose, fulfillment and happiness.  All that, and more, packaged into two powerful hours on stage punctuated with plenty of sarcasm and humor.

The cast never failed to deliver the goods and this work clearly hits its mark.  Bulls-Eye.