Monday, November 30, 2015

Old Times **

The circumstances for attending this Roundabout production were far from ideal. Fighting Times Square holiday crowds to see a 65-minute play was a dubious enterprise at best. Trying to maintain attention when there were FIVE interruptions by cellphones was nigh impossible. That being said, the play was not without its merits. The three actors — Clive Owen, Kelly Reilly and Eve Best — inhabited their roles thoroughly and even sang snippets of song pleasantly. The dialogue had moments of entertaining word play. Under Douglas Hodge’s direction, the usual long Pinter silences were virtually absent. That alone must have chopped at least ten minutes off the play’s length. The austere set by Christine Jones with a back wall of arcs radiating like rings from a pebble dropped in a pond and a door that resembled a block of ice was evocative. The costumes by Constance Hoffman suited the characters well. The moody sound design by Clive Goodman and dramatic lighting by Japhy Weideman enhanced the proceedings. The basic situation of a married couple in a remote house being visited by the wife’s former roommate of 20 years prior had promise. I just did not find the competing memories that involving. Under better circumstances, I might have enjoyed it more. In my opinion, offering a 65-minute play at Broadway prices is pushing the limits.

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