Time Stands Still


By Donald Marguiles.

Directed by Georgette Verdin.

Produced by Aston Rep Theatre Company.

At Raven Theatre’s West Stage, Chicago.

Addiction to action motivates war journalists.

Sara Pavlak McGuire plays Sarah- an adrenaline junky wartime photojournalist who returns to her Brooklyn loft to recover from a near-death bomb blast in Afghanistan.  Furiously independent, she is irritated that her lover and fellow war journalist dotes over her.  McGuire is traffic as she fights her wounds and always seems to have a glimpse of her desire to get back to photo the horrors of war. Her wounds and his emotional breakdown from one too many war horrors forced James (Robert Tobin) to return home to write puff-pieces.

But Sarah still yearns to go back to war reporting believing that if she documents war’s horrors they’ll be ended. She is taken off guard by James’ desire to settle down and marry. It seems that their friend and editor Richard (Rob Frankel) has found a much younger girl to love. They marry and Mandy (Kirra Silver) becomes pregnant.

Mandy and Richard indirectly influence James but Sarah, despite marrying James after nine years, still is determined to go back to war zones. Forced to decide between her love for James and a normal life and her thrill-seeking war photographing that makes “time stand still,” Sarah’s choice to resume living in chaos is plausible and understandable. We get why she wants to return.

Kirra Silver, as Mandy, Richard’s (Rob Frankel) much younger lover and soon-to-be-wife gave a winning performance as the naive 20spmething while Frankel was outstanding as the magazine editor and friend to Sarah and James.

I’d like to know more about why Sarah cheated on James in Afghanistan after James returned to the US. Also why he accepted her story without rage since she is his soulmate yet she betrayed him? James took the news quite civilly.  I would also like to know more about James’ meltdown that forced him to leave Sarah in a war zone. This play is a tad underwritten but McGuire and Tobin’s conflicting chemistry covers most of the gaps. We see that James is burned-out and wants to live peacefully while Sarah is ready to go cover war again. The fine acting makes up for the gaps in the script. This play is worth seeing.

Recommended.

Tom Williams.

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2017.

Jeff Recommended.

For more info check out the Time Stands Still page at theatreinchicago.com.

At Raven Theatre’s West sStage, 6157 N. Clark, Chicago, IL,  call 773-828-9129, www.astonrep.com, tickets $20, Students/seniors $15, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3:30 pm, running time is 1 hour 55 minutes with intermission, through Junw11, 2017.

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