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Manhattan Theatre Club Presents "Time Stands Still" at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

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Manhattan Theatre Club
Time Stands Still
(Time Stands Still Website)

By Donald Margulies

Lynn Meadow, Artistic Director
Barry Grove, Exec. Producer

Directed by Daniel Sullivan

At the
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
261 West 47th Street

Eric Bogosian, Brian d’Arcy James,
Laura Linney, Alicia Silverstone

Scenic Design: John Lee Beatty
Costume Design: Rita Ryack
Lighting Design: Peter Kaczorowski
Sound Design: Darron L. West
Original Music: Peter Golub
Fight Director: Thomas Schall
Production Stage Manager: Robert Bennett
Director of Casting: Nancy Piccione
General Manager: Florie Seery
Press: Boneau/Bryan-Brown
Production Manager: Kurt Gardner
Assoc. Artistic Director: Mandy Greenfield
Director of Artistic Development: Jerry Patch
Director of Marketing: Debra Waxman-Pilla
Director of Development: Jill Turner Lloyd

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 29, 2010

When the audience first sees Sarah Goodwin (Laura Linney), her injured face and knees are unsettling. But, Ms. Linney’s strong sense of comfort in the role of impassioned war photographer, home from Iraq after being hospitalized in Germany, puts us at ease. Her life partner, James Dodd (Brian d’Arcy James), in a role the quite the opposite of Shrek, is a war reporter, who left Iraq with a breakdown, before the explosion that wounded Sarah. He’s consumed by remorse at leaving her alone, not only because of the wounds, but also because of her subsequent wartime affair. Warmth turns to jealousy, and their interaction becomes intense. Sarah thrives on autonomy, and James thrives on alliance. Pregnant pauses speak loudly.

Welcoming Sarah home is the second couple in Donald Margulies’ introspective play, Richard Ehrlich (Eric Bogosian) and Mandy Bloom (Alicia Silverstone). Richard, who had been a freelance photographer like Sarah, and intimate with her as well, now has a full-time job with a magazine, and his young, perky paramour, Mandy, pushes all the wrong buttons when she arrives, as if she’s prepared for a sweet sixteen. Balloons and gifts do not match war wounds, nor do they ease the swelling tension that James and Sarah live with. Richard waxes chatty, in an attempt to fill the time, but Mandy is like a wine future, that needs to ripen to be appreciated. Much banter ensues, related to family resentment, related to the purpose of photographing war, related to the meaning of relationships, and related to what love is and what lost love is.

The characters morph, merge, and separate, merging again in re-invented roles. Laura Linney, as Sarah, has a softness that starkly contrasts with her courage in Iraq. Her inner dynamic is steel, but her exterior dynamic is sensual. Brian d’Arcy James, as James, seems to be Sarah’s antithesis, with a sensual inner dynamic and a steel exterior. In many ways they are symbiotic, in others they are repellant. Mr. d’Arcy James, however, has a magnetic presence, that draws the audience in. Eric Bogosian, as Richard, plays the conflicted friend to former lover, Sarah, and lover to bubby, nubile Mandy with nuanced vocal and physical gestures. Alicia Silverstone, as bubbly Mandy, tones down her inappropriate, immature comments and endears herself to her polar opposites. In the end, as they say in au courant parlance, the four characters “found their inner selves”. Daniel Sullivan directed with attention to poignant expressiveness and measured body language.

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at