I want to preface this by saying that I do not enjoy writing negative reviews. I get no satisfaction out of them, though some people do write negative reviews with glee. It just makes me sad when something doesn’t live up to its potential.
Though Time Stands Still was nominated for Best Play in the 2010 Tony Awards, I couldn’t help but feel it was little more than a string of cliché lines being delivered by cliché characters. Two journalists who have been in a long-term personal and professional relationship find that they have grown apart, and their editor seeks a more simple life with a much younger, simple woman. This isn’t life-changing stuff.
As far as its execution at Theatre on the Square…passion—that complete submersion into a character—felt off on opening night. This is surprising given that the cast and its director are seasoned pros and recognizable to Indianapolis-theater regulars: heavy hitters Ronn Johnston, Dave Ruark, Cindy Phillips, and director Gari Williams. They are joined by less-well-known Katherine Shelton, but even she isn’t a stranger to the stage.
Phillips is perhaps the most interesting as Sarah, a war photojournalist, because she gets to be confrontational and rude throughout most of the play. Her personality steamrolls over the other three, who, strangely, seem to lie down and await the inevitable pounding. There are good moments—some shocking and some funny—but they don’t carry the show to a transformative level.
John Walker’s set design is fun and functional—a representation of urban funk for people who don’t live in their living space often.
The show is passable, but it’s far from memorable.