Earlier this week Papa and I went to the theater together. The lovely people at Arts Meets Commerce offered me tickets to see my skin-double Laura Linney in Time Stands Still at the Cort Theatre in exchange for my writing about the play, good or bad. I invited Papa to come as my guest and he graciously accepted.
“We can write a joint review,” I told him.
He would have none of it.
“You write yours and I’ll write my own,” he told me, reminding me that he has many fans on this blog.
So that’s what we did.
Time Stands Still by Marinka
I don’t go to the theater a lot. It’s expensive, it starts too late and if you wander in wearing your pajamas while clutching a glass of chardonnay you get tons of attitude. But when I do go I get a little electrified. Nervous before the performance starts because I can’t imagine that the actors aren’t terrified, and I sort of wait for someone to flub a line. It’s really difficult to get into the theatrical moment in the midst of so much apprehension.
But I did.
Laura Linney is Sarah, a war photographer who is returning to her Brooklyn home after sustaining terrible injuries in a bombing in Iraq and recuperating for six weeks in a German hospital (with what I can only assume was a quick stopover on 5th Avenue for a Bergdorf blonde treatment. How else could someone who’d spend the previous months in a war zone be so unbelievably and perfectly blonde? And yet, I suspect that this is not the direction that the play is taking.)
She comes back, but she is devastated by the events she witnessed. In some ways, her home life is further away from her than the war zone that she left behind. And she doesn’t fall into any of the stereotypes that you would expect. She is strong and bitchy and infuriating and keening and translucent. She is multi-dimensional in the best theatrical sense.
I even forgave her the unrealistic highlights.
The questions raised– do you put yourself in a war zone or stay within the relative safety and comforts of home and how much can we really change the way things are in the world–stayed with me.
As you’ll soon read, papa was not enthralled by the play, and during the intermission he wondered out loud (with the emphasis being on the loud and in English) why people continue to write plays, when Shakespeare and Wilde had already written such masterpieces.
My answer is that we need, particularly in times of turmoil, art to reflect and to make sense of the chaos for us. Some art (otherwise known as The A-List) distracts, while other, like Time Stands Still, transforms, even if temporarily. I loved the play because I didn’t think that it had a false line, and very many clever ones.
I enjoyed it and feel brainier for having seen it. So go! Check out the special offer and go! And then tell me what you thought about it.
But that’s just my take on it. Let’s see what Papa had to say!
WARNING! Papa’s review contains important spoilers! Read at your own risk!
A Challenge to Our Pharmaceutical Industry: Time Stands Still by Papa
In our post-Viagra time, there is a need for relationship-ending medications with the names like Partiva, Departa or TuttaFinita and TodoTerminada for the Italian and Spanish markets.
The demand is clearly there. We successfully manage most of our ills and only parting with the people who we love or are attracted to remains lengthy, painful and uncomfortable.
And Time Stands Still is exactly about parting ways of the couple that had been together for about 8 years. The whole play is presented on the background of large amount of human suffering in the places like Iraq, North Africa and few other places where people burn and cannibalize each others.
Our heroes are there by their own choice, because this is the best way to present yourself as somebody who you are not. He is a war correspondent and she is war photographer.
She recovers from the road side bomb injury that left her feminine attractiveness totally intact and he recovers from her infidelity with her now dead Iraqi beau.
Does it sound like slapstick? Yes, it does, because it is.
There is not much more to that except for one more couple a September/May scenario where the woman is not very mature and the man can’t take hands off her flesh.
The whole thing is not really very moving, because love and suffering while parting were presented by various dramaturges much better in as early as XVIII-XIX centuries.
The background of Iraq war may sell it to some group of socially aware people who know for sure which war is good and proper and which is not justified and cruel at the same time.
The Court Theater is a great place, small and built when the City itself was small and the middle class people did not know yet that they are the middle class.
In conclusion: The parting pill should be marketed as a twin pack, pink for her and blue for him.
Hi, it’s me, Marinka again! Do you think Papa and I will be sought out joint reviewers? Is this the beginning of a new career? OMG, what if they want Papa only reviews? How will I cope with my jealous rage?!