REVIEW: ‘Time Stands Still’ a must-see production

Reviewd by Sue Suchyta

Click HERE to read the review on Sue’s blog.

View production photos!

James (Carl Ghigliazza), Mandy (Maria Radu), Sarah (Sydney Machesky), and Richard (Michael Fisher)Photo: Kevin Replinger

James (Carl Ghigliazza), Mandy (Maria Radu), Sarah (Sydney Machesky), and Richard (Michael Fisher)
Photo: Kevin Replinger

Despite the title, time is running out to see Donald Margulies’ Tony award-nominated “Time Stands Still,” a well-written and acted, thought-provoking production at Wayne State University’s Studio Theatre, 4743 Cass at Hancock in the lower level of the Hilberry Theatre.  One performance, 8 p.m. April 6, remains to see the show. Tickets are $10 and $12, and are available through the Studio Theatre Box Office. Mention coupon code 3CP7 and receive $2 off the price of your ticket. For more information, call (313) 577-2972 or go to www.wsustudio.com.

Directed by Katherine Skortz, the show focuses on Sarah, a photojournalist injured by a roadside bomb. As she recovers, she and her boyfriend, James, try to explain to their friends, Michael and Mandy, the reality of covering tragedies in war zones. Why photojournalists record the events for the world, while non-journalist people might take an immediate hands-on approach to relieve suffering, is a key discussion point for the play’s characters.

Sydney Machesky of Shelby Township is stellar in her performance of Sarah, a photojournalist recovering from serious injuries caused by a roadside bomb. Not only does she consistently portray the physical limitations connected to her recovery, she captures the short tempered personality of someone who has undergone so much stress that they are just barely holding on to a veneer of civility.

Carl Ghigliazza of Southgate is very believable in his portrayal of James, her longtime boyfriend, portraying both guilt at not being overseas with her when she was injured and frustration over Sarah’s insistence on doing a job that constantly puts her in danger, which is as essential to her as oxygen.

Providing a lighter and entertaining counterpart to the two main characters are Michael Fisher of Livonia as Richard, James’ editor, and Maria Radu of Westland as Mandy, Richard’s girlfriend, a young, perky event planner.

Radu remarkably creates a likeable person out of her role, despite the character being much younger and an intellectual lightweight compared to the other three characters. Her naïve optimism and genuine “niceness” creates much of the comic relief in the show, and she shows us how people not in the news reporting business react to the horrors and violence of war and other human tragedies encountered by field reporters.

As Richard and Mandy’s relationship grows stronger over time, more cracks appear in Sarah and James’ bond, even though they try to strengthen it.  Sarah’s desire to return to the field becomes stronger than James’ persuasion to stay safe stateside and start a family with him.

Whether she needs adrenaline, or driven by a career more than maternal urges remains open to the viewer’s interpretation.

“Time Stands Still” runs for one more performance at 8 p.m. April 6, at the Studio Theatre. For tickets or more information, call (313) 577-2972 or go to http://www.wsustudio.com.

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