The ‘Time’ of their (Embattled) Lives


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When Bruce The Blog Watches… People Act

As it has been doing for 18 years, The Armonk Players once again rewards audiences with expertly staged entertainment.

Directed by Pia Haas, Time Stands Still, by Pulitzer playwright Donald Margulies, cleverly coaxes us to think more reflectively about our own life choices, while challenging conventional wisdom about what is right and wrong.

TSS Ron Aaronson photo on set

Tom Coppola (l, as James Dodd) woos girlfriend Amber Mason (as Sarah Goodwin) in The Armonk Players’ “Time Stands Still.” Photo by Ron Aaronson

Sitcoms are the sugar in our cultural diet. They satisfy our sweet tooth for instant gratification, for flights of fancy to release workaday stress.

Like our bodies, though, our minds cannot (or should not) thrive on sweets alone.

Lovingly crafted live drama gives us enriching and, yes, tasty protein to digest. It gives the ol’ gray matter a chance to flex while pumping ideas. 

A provocative example is Time Stands Still, currently on stage by The Armonk Players at North Castle Library’s Whippoorwill Hall (Click here for more info.)

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Ruhl Breaks the Rules in ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’ at Axial Theater


Bruce caricatureBruce the Blog Reviews Theater By Bruce Apar When Bruce The Blog Listens, People Talk

When a play’s title — “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” at Axial Theater — is a dead giveaway to what otherwise could have been a big reveal in the opening scene (that guy sitting slumped in his cafe chair whose phone keeps ringing didn’t doze off, he died off ), you have to wonder what the writer has in mind.

Author Sarah Ruhl has a lot on her fertile mind as she goes about creating her own rules. She is one of today’s most celebrated, cerebral dramatists, lavished with awards and critical praise, a finalist for the Pulitzer and Tony awards, and a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” grant. In other words, unlike the unfortunate man we espy at the play’s outset, it’s safe to say she’s no slouch.

Siobhan McKinley as Jean gets a lift from boyfriend Dwight Gottlieb (Duane Rutter). Photos by Leslye Smith

Neither is the high-minded director, Rachel Jones, who selected this work for the prestigious Axial Theatre, where it runs through Sunday, May 17 (Click here for more info).  Axial is one of an elite group of Hudson Valley theater companies that consistently mount top-quality, tightly disciplined productions that give audiences more than their money’s worth. Continue reading