Bucks County Herald

Theater review:

“Times Stands Still” at Bristol Riverside Theatre


Michael Satow and Eleanor Handley star in “Time Stands Still” by Donald Margulies, directed by Susan D. Atkinson, playing now through Feb. 15 at Bristol Riverside Theatre.

“Time Stands Still,” a fascinating, cleverly-written play by Donald Margulies, is the current production at Bristol Riverside Theatre.

This powerful play is well-worth seeing.

Sarah, a professional photo journalist, returns with multiple wounds from an incident in the Middle East where she was severely injured by a car bomb while shooting photographs during the war.

Sarah is on crutches, has her arm in a sling and has nasty facial shrapnel scars. At the play’s opening, James, her longtime boyfriend and journalist, accompanies her home from the military hospital to their New York City loft to which he had returned several months earlier to deal with his mental wounds.

Their relationship has become rocky. James wants to be married. Sarah does not. James wants to stay at “home.”

Sarah does not. James wants children. Sarah does not. James is a procrastinator. Sarah likes to get things done quickly and efficiently. They are quite different, making you wonder how they got together in the first place.

But, then you begin to understand: At one time, they both were turned on by the danger and excitement of war. James loved what he did, but horrors of what he has seen have affected him so much, he had a breakdown, is recovering, and no longer wants that life.

Sarah has different memories, including a Middle Eastern man who was her “fixer” and with whom she fell in love after James returned from Kabul. Her friend, Tariq, was killed in the same explosion that severely injured Sarah.

Richard, their editor, comes to see Sarah’s pictures with his child-like girlfriend who is pregnant. They tease him when Mandy excuses herself – “I always knew you wanted a little girl …,” but over time they grow to like her and help with Mandy and Richard’s wedding later.

There are only the four characters, all with strong opinions, all with different agendas.

You think you know what will happen, but the play takes turns that are surprising. It is compelling and fascinating, with an unexpected ending.

The roles of Sarah and James are played quite well by Eleanor Handley and Michael Satow. Richard and Mandy are played by Danny Vaccaro and Laura Giknis. The play is directed by Susan Atkinson, founding director of Bristol Riverside Theatre.

“Time Stands Still” runs through Feb. 15. Tickets are available at brtstage.org or by calling the box office at 215-785-0100.




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