Time and the Conways
Closed 2h 15m
Time and the Conways
72

Time and the Conways NYC Reviews and Tickets

72%
(387 Reviews)
Positive
69%
Mixed
23%
Negative
8%
Members say
Great acting, Slow, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Dated

About the Show

Roundabout Theatre Company brings this post WWI-set drama back to Broadway for the first time in a production directed by Tony winner Rebecca Taichman ('Indecent'), and starring Elizabeth McGovern ('Downton Abbey').

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Member Reviews (387)

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83
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Dated, Slow

See it if You enjoy character driven period piece dramas. This one moves rather slowly but has an exquisite payoff in my opinion.

Don't see it if You need a lot of action. You barely realize what the real point of the play is until almost the end of the first act.

70
Banal, Dated, Fluffy, Overrated

See it if This one misses the mark. It has some decent acting for sure, however, it gets slow at various points .The show can be moving and thought

Don't see it if provoking. With all the great stuff on and off Broadway, you can miss this one. it is slow at times, loses it way at times, not my fav.

Critic Reviews (54)

The New York Times
October 10th, 2017

"A thoughtful revival of an ambitious, vexing, multilayered drama. Still, there’s a reason it has not appeared on Broadway since its 1938 premiere. Too often it feels like an elaborate mechanism for deploying once-fashionable cosmological ideas...Taichman’s lovely staging does what it can visually to correct this problem...All this loving attention to the play’s philosophical superstructure does little to alleviate the stiffness...Priestley and the production are working too hard."
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Time Out New York
October 10th, 2017

"J.B. Priestley’s 1937 drama is about time, and its current Broadway revival, if nothing else, makes you aware of time passing...It’s unclear why the Roundabout has chosen to mount this play, except perhaps that director Taichman has staged it before and McGovern was available to play the mother...The production features solid work from most of the actors...But 'Time and the Conways' requires a stronger gravitational force than McGovern’s airy performance provides. The center does not hold."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 10th, 2017

"'Time and the Conways' rarely pulled me in. Instead, it allowed me to sit comfortably — too comfortably — observing its highly polished exterior...If only the play itself lived up to the extravagant — and admittedly powerful — visual metaphor that Patel and Taichman have created. But despite intermittent moving moments, the text often feels clunky, dated, and more than a bit sentimental...Ends up feeling like a Masterpiece Theatre 'Cherry Orchard' — a little dumbed-down and a little dolled-up."
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 10th, 2017

"The plush Roundabout revival demands patience, withholding payoff for its haunting final moments...This is not the subtlest of plays, and Taichman allows half her actors to wade into over-emphatic melodrama...A funny old play, interesting more for its structural adventurousness than its thematic trenchancy. And while Taichman and her uneven cast can't obscure the writing's weaknesses, the production closes on a forceful note that makes it retroactively quite satisfying."
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Entertainment Weekly
October 10th, 2017

"This forgotten gem of a play pushes the boundaries of its well-heeled drawing room setting into a metaphysical dream world...As deftly handled by director Rebecca Taichman, Priestley’s metaphysics are poignant where, in less able hands, they could come off as annoyingly mystical. And while its 'Downton' connection might fill seats, 'The Conways', despite some superficial period similarities, reveals its own complex pleasures — just give it time."
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Variety
October 10th, 2017

"Even an imperfect Priestley play offers food for thought, and McGovern is always a pleasure to watch...Nobody looks good in the gracefully written but too-broadly acted first scene of the play...Priestley best articulates his faith in that soothing belief system in the last movement of the play…It’s a great scene, but first we have to get there, and the erratic directorial style makes that rougher than it needs to be."
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The Wall Street Journal
October 12th, 2017

"A fine play, one whose Ayckbourn-like time-travel premise is no longer innovative but remains effective...It would have profited from a small-scale off-Broadway production...The Roundabout’s revival rattles ineffectually around the 40-foot-wide stage...Taichman’s staging is notable mostly for its predictability of characterization. Save for McGovern and Boyer, everyone in the cast mostly sticks to shallow caricature. 'Time and the Conways' deserves better—much better."
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The Observer
October 11th, 2017

"Dredging up a creaky old warhorse from 1937 like J. B. Priestley’s ossified 'Time and the Conways' does seem a bit like digging for fossils in the La Brea tar pits...The play is talky, complicated and second-rate...It’s mechanical and contrived. The current production fails to disguise old weaknesses. It has a creaky fascination when viewed from a curious historical perspective, but no new magic happens to give 'Time and the Conways' the freshness it desperately needs."
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Deadline
October 10th, 2017

"'Time and the Conways' feels stitched together in a hurry, a costume drama with no coherent point of view and performances so at odds with one another as to screech like chalk on slate. McGovern is the chief victim of this; her shrill performance lacks the conviction necessary to make this monster mom compelling or even much more than a vague annoyance...'Time and the Conways' should be unnerving, but here it’s simply undone."
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New York Daily News
October 10th, 2017

"While McGovern heads the Roundabout revival, the brightest star is an eloquent and evocative set that underscores the themes of the 1937 drama...Without the time-leaping construction, the play is pretty conventional. It also has an annoying habit of overexplaining itself...While ideas are underlined and highlighted, characters tend to be fairly one-dimensional. But under the sensitive direction of Rebecca Taichman, a first-rate ensemble breathes vibrant life into the adult Conway children."
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AM New York
October 10th, 2017

"Sad, strange, supernatural, slow, static, stuffy, slight and stilted...An occasionally stimulating, mostly dull production...Except for a handful of striking moments, the play comes off as a boring mishmash of Chekhov’s 'The Cherry Orchard,' Sondheim’s 'Merrily We Roll Along' and, of course, 'Downton Abbey.' Perhaps it would work better with an all-English cast that possesses ensemble unity. Here, the performances are uneven – and so are the accents."
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NY1
October 12th, 2017

"A beautifully realized production...Its bittersweet message bridges 8 decades with a profound and timely resonance...By Act 3, returning to 1919 we see these flawed characters through a magnified lens; effectively creating a mirror for the rest of us to see ourselves...Each of the actors delivers highly nuanced portraits with individual moments to shine...A deeply personal work baring the universal theme that there is no joy without the woe."
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Theatermania
October 10th, 2017

"Undoubtedly, there will be theatergoers who delight in the guarded banter of the Conway family...The rest of us will just be bored. 'Time and the Conways' doesn't really get interesting until halfway through the second act...Director Taichman's production presents Priestley's timeline with inexorable precision and a twinge of sadness...The performances are also satisfying, if slightly indulgent in that way British drawing room dramas encourage...It's not 'Downton Abbey', but it will do."
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BroadwayWorld
October 11th, 2017

"If those late 1930s audiences only knew, as audiences at Taichman's graceful and visually surprising Roundabout production now know, the even greater horrors that would lie ahead. The playwright plays with time in a manner that pulls at emotions...Taichman offers the audience entrancing glimpses of how human existence can transcend time...Plays like 'Time and the Conways' offer warnings from the past about the possibilities for the future."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 18th, 2017

"'Conways' never escapes a certain dullness for the simple reason that few of his people come alive...The director, Rebecca Taichman, has handled these dramatic goods sensitively and with enormous skill; if she can't make this play work, one wonders if anyone could. Her cast is beyond reproach...'Conways,' even in a production as elegant as this, is a dramatized theory, populated by action figures masquerading as real human beings."
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Talkin' Broadway
October 10th, 2017

"The characters, themes, and subject matter of 'Time and the Conways' are involving enough that the play would no doubt be worthy even without its shifting chronology, but that element makes it an extraordinary work...Any production of this play rises or falls on the ability of the artists involved to make the audience fully believe we are seeing slices of the Conways lives in two different eras 18 years apart. Taichman and her exceptionally talented cast deftly create the illusion."
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Theater News Online
October 10th, 2017

"Under recent Tony Award winner Rebecca Taichman’s nuanced yet unfussy direction, the play’s many other themes all come to in sharp focus through the work’s three lengthy scenes...Taichman proves herself to an expert in putting together an ensemble...Indeed, you may feel for some of the first act that you’ve been asked to evaluate a glittering cubic zirconium, but rest assured, this long-neglected play is a multi-faceted diamond."
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Broadway News
October 10th, 2017

"A stirring, spiffily cast revival...Priestley draws his fracturing family portrait in delicate, compassionate and occasionally funny strokes, and the excellent cast, led by the director, Rebecca Taichman, draws us into their lives with a natural warmth and ease...For the most part 'Time and the Conways,' presented here with impressive polish, has weathered the years with impressive grace. Time can be cruel to people, but on occasion it can at least be kind to works of art."
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TheaterScene.net
October 23rd, 2017

“Thanks to Taichman's overseeing of the production, ‘Time and the Conways’ is most successful as both an old-fashioned play and as a philosophical investigation of life and time, as the title suggests. It's about living in the present, which is where we should all aspire to be but rarely are, thinking of or living in the past and the future instead. Priestley's genius was for putting his story in all time frames simultaneously, as it were.”
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CurtainUp
October 14th, 2017

"While 'Time and the Conways' has a lot going for it...Despite a slow to gain altitude first act, the current production is a good fit for the Roundabout and its audiences' love affair with elegantly staged British dramas...Patel's brilliant visual coup literally takes us to two virtually alike yet oh so different scenes...That bit of theatrical magic makes the play shed its dated feeling and come alive. It also brings out the best in most of the actors."
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Front Row Center
October 15th, 2017

"In a beautiful staging sleight of hand we slide forward 19 years to 1937...The direction of Taichman was surprising here. After her masterful turn with 'Indecent,' I expected her to have more of a firm hand. More than once the cast seems confined to the stage because they have lines to give, not because their character has an agenda...The blocking is unexceptional, the accents differ wildly, and there is no inner drum that drives them...All in all this is a bland production."
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T
October 19th, 2017

“A retelling of the important 1937 play that transforms Priestley’s important discussions…from an intellectual exercise to a deeply spiritual quest that raises several deep, rich, and enduring questions…Neil Patel’s set supports Rebecca Taichman’s inventive staging…This adds a welcomed magical realism to J. B. Priestley’s already metaphysical themes…A sensitive and courageous exploration of how time the possibility of alternate universes.”
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New York Theater
October 13th, 2017

"After the 35 minutes of the first scene, I wondered why anybody would bring J.B. Priestley’s play back from the dead...Through the characters’ energetic bickering, 'Time and the Conways' briefly comes to life...All ten members of the cast are individually quite fine and talented performers, and I wonder whether I would have appreciated more what they bring to 'Time and the Conways' had that tedious trifle of a first scene not made time stand still."
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Broadway Blog
October 17th, 2017

“Although they can't avoid the taint of staginess…, the actors generally achieve the privileged British air suitable for the drawing room environment…It's wonderful to see the elegantly slim Elizabeth McGovern as the disagreeable Mrs. Conway, a role superficially similar to her Cora Crawley on ‘Downton Abbey,’ but far richer in dramatic colors…’Time and the Conways’ is as beautiful to look at as it's pleasing to hear. Priestley's gem…has its flaws but is still worth the time spent gazing at it.”
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Newsday
October 10th, 2017

"Be patient with 'Time and the Conways,' because it takes a little while to get going. You will be happy you stuck around, though...Priestley’s carefully constructed play muses on the nature of time while painting a subtle, affecting portrait of the crushed aspirations of a certain English upper middle class. And the Roundabout stepped up to the plate with a sterling, subtly acted production...No matter your definition of time, the one spent at this show is well spent indeed."
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Times Square Chronicles
October 15th, 2017

"Parry is wonderful...I was also impressed by Boyer and Ebert, both playing against type and landing solid and mesmerizing performances. McGovern may be the star of this production, but I felt her performance was the weakest, lacking in demonstrative actions that would make us understand just how manipulative this woman is. I did love Taichman’s direction, which I found layered on so many levels...Simplistically beautiful and I appreciated what it was trying to impart."
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The Clyde Fitch Report
October 11th, 2017

"Many elements of director Rebecca Taichman’s production help to establish the playwright’s reassuring conviction...Most of the cast, especially as Taichman directs them in act one, pushes hard to sound as cheerfully British as possible. Later, they prove their mettle. Parry, Boyer, Bloom, and Baryshnikov are special standouts...Time has had its way with 'Time and the Conways'. Yet if this is what time has wrought, then this much we can confirm: Priestley’s heartfelt play is timeless."
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What Should We Do?
October 12th, 2017

"Priestley’s melancholy but hopeful meditation on change glows handsomely in this well-acted and craftily designed revival...The piece may strike some viewers as old-fashioned in its tweedy, melancholy Britishness, but there’s a core of cosmic wonder and plucky humanism to the affair...Taichman doesn’t try to outsmart the material, handling it with the intelligence and clarity it deserves...There must be a special shout special shout-out to Boyer, who nearly steals the show."
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Gotham Playgoer
October 10th, 2017

"It’s an unconventional structure that has an emotional payoff even though it leaves some of our questions unanswered...The cast is uniformly strong, although I do wish Ms. Camp smiled less...Director Taichman negotiates the play’s complexities smoothly. I felt that the production was probably better than the play deserved, that when you strip away the play’s gimmicks, there isn’t enough substance there. Nevertheless, I was grateful for the opportunity to see it in this splendid production."
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The Huffington Post
October 10th, 2017

"The play does not make a compelling case for itself...The Roundabout production has been well-staged by Rebecca Taichman...The actors do their best, I suppose, but are in some cases defeated by the material...Thanks in great part to director Taichman and the designers, this revival of 'Time and the Conways' is interesting enough. If it’s an 'interesting enough' time you’re looking for."
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The Wrap
October 10th, 2017

"Taichman reshapes the drama enough to give it an emotional resonance that’s not on the page...And that diversion is greatly enhanced by Patel’s set design, which turns time travel into a visually stunning trip...Just as Priestly is unsubtle in establishing each of his characters in act one, he is just as blunt when it comes to dishing up their respective failures. Taichman works magic with Priestley’s white-and-black approach...McGovern leads a marvelous ensemble under her direction."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
October 16th, 2017

"The entire cast is exceedingly good...The production indulges in some less effective devices. This cuts uncomfortably into the realism that defines the rest of the play. However, those excursions are not enough to derail the overall effectiveness of the author’s incisive look into the situation in England...It is a welcome example of Priestley’s writing, and director Taichman has done a sharp job of staging that results in an impressive production of a play that merits a revival."
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W
October 17th, 2017

"Though Priestley’s study of a genre of post-war, pedigreed Britons is intriguing, its time component is, at best, a stretch...A lengthy first scene...somewhat tedious in its own right, is alas made more so by Rebecca Taichman’s affected direction...Accents, except for Boyer’s, are all over the place...The minimal, symmetrical, antiseptic set by Patel looks like a precious dollhouse...Young’s costumes for the women are almost universally unflattering and rather cheap looking."
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Cultural Weekly
October 18th, 2017

"Taichman’s direction is tight and measured, though she does allow some of the cast to limn their upper-crust cluelessness a bit too broadly...The bulwark of this production is Charlotte Parry’s conflicted Kay...She intensely charts Kay’s struggle to comprehend the vagaries of life and her final moments of attempting to reconcile youthful optimism with mature reality are heartbreaking...Though the ironic storyline is predictable, this is 'Time' well spent."
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Broadway & Me
October 21st, 2017

"'Time and the Conways' has some flaws, it's being done very well...Equal parts a family drama, a comedy of manners, and a metaphysical meditation...The play's underlying themes of dashed dreams and the compromises that life demands remain relevant...Director Taichman doesn't shy away from the sentimentality of what happens but she and—accents aside—her top-flight cast give each storyline a poignant clarity...The true star of this production is Patel's set.”
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Stage Left
October 16th, 2017

"The production remains better than the text, with the sets and costumes working just as well if not more effectively than the dialogue at conveying the big idea...An ensemble of fine actors does their best with average though ambitious material...Moments soar, but otherwise, Act I overly is sweet and Act III overly sad, subtlety lacking across the board....Ultimately, 'Time and the Conways' operates better in idea than reality."
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Towleroad
October 11th, 2017

"A muddled and bizarrely outfitted revival...Despite a high-caliber cast the family drama more often feels like an Anglicized episode of 'Dynasty' — and not a particularly fun one at that — rather than a metaphysical exploration…Aside from two albeit breathtaking transitional moments, Taichman’s staging feels staid, and the play’s conceit slight…Historical context aside, the play’s setup hinges on our investment in relatively minor interpersonal dramas.”
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Daily Beast
October 10th, 2017

"Tony-winning director Rebecca Taichman, who in 'Indecent' also oversaw leaps in time, here cannot weave such inventive flights of magic, although she tries on a much more limiting stage...There is a disconnect between the big themes of 'Time and the Conways' and its smaller-framed domestic sagas. It’s hard to like or care about the characters, who exist in two fundamentally off-putting registers...This is an oddly airless play, and it feels even more lost in a large Broadway theater."
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City Cabaret
October 18th, 2017

“Depsite hesitant direction by Rebecca Taichman, the play features a fine ensemble of players...The tedious first act flails about with its highpoint introducing characters who are not fully detailed but defined in perfunctory sketches...This staging is the most evocative display of Priestley’s experimentation with J.W. Dunne’s philosophical theories of time and its non-linear continuum.”
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DC Metro Theater Arts
October 13th, 2017

"An interesting revival...Taichman has jumped in with both feet to give us a vigorous interpretation. The opening act is played with almost too much vigor and relish...Physically, this production is beautifully realized by Patel, Young, and Akerlind who have conjured the sets, costumes, and lighting that evoke another time and place...It is certainly the sort of piece that is in line with the mission of the Roundabout, 'to bring 'hidden' classics such as these back to Broadway stages."
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The Stage (UK)
October 10th, 2017

"'Time and the Conways' bears the hallmarks of a well-made play of the period. It’s suffused with class conflict and familial strife...Though it boasts a stellar ensemble and considered direction by Rebecca Taichman, the production struggles in the first act which is played too broadly. But Taichman tightens things up in the second act...The performances are strong.”
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StageZine
October 16th, 2017

"The acting is uneven by mostly everyone. McGovern, as Mrs. Conway, is unconvincing as her younger self in Act I. However, as her older and hardened self, she is riveting and heartbreaking. Boyer is frightening as the belligerent Beevers who changes from an eager wooer to a maniacal bully to exact revenge is perfect. Parry is charming and engaging and it never ceases to amaze me how Ebert can play a dolt and be able to steal every scene."
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Show Showdown
October 10th, 2017

"Throw in the passage of years, a little jumping around in time, a soupçon of metaphysical philosophy, smart and insightful writing, wonderful design elements, smooth direction (Rebecca Taichman) and a largely first-class ensemble, and you have an excellent and surprisingly contemporary evening in the theater. One thing: Elizabeth McGovern should not have gotten a solo bow. Not only is 'Time and the Conways' an ensemble piece, but McGovern is far from the best thing in it."
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Village Voice
October 12th, 2017

"Taichman’s revival, handsome and effective reveals both what made the original run so brief and why people might be attracted to the notion of bringing it back. Never incompetent, and skillful enough never to be dull in a conventional way, Priestley simply isn’t a very imaginative creator of characters...They lack the inner life to provide dramatic surprises...Ultimately, the shortcomings onstage come from Priestley rather than the production."
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Reflections in the Light
October 19th, 2017

"The cross over from the 1919 celebration to the family's future in 1937 is the real star of this show. Patel's set dramatically transforms and the lighting design creates the illusion of being able to travel through time as Kay appears to have a vision of what is to come...The performances are fierce and the direction by Rebecca Taichman is precise. The play itself could use a good edit, particularly in the first act, but overall, a very satisfying time at the theater."
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Z
October 11th, 2017

"McGovern finally gets to sink her teeth into someone more shady, and to use that British accent she’s picked up along the way. She hits it out of the park on both counts...This is, first and foremost, a beautifully structured play about a family, their dreams, longings, fears, and devastations. The cast is uniformly excellent...But a special shout out must go to Neil Patel’s marvelous design...And, of course, to recent Tony-winner Taichman who directs the complex action with a sure hand."
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Drama Queen NYC
October 14th, 2017

"'Time and the Conways' is rich with political thoughts that range from the most idealistic socialism to the most mercenary capitalism, which speaks loudly to the anxieties of 2017 America. Taichman is an ideal match for this thoughtful material...She creates several coups de théâtre that express Priestley’s ideas in breathtakingly simple theatrical moments...The outstanding performance is Gabriel Ebert as the quietly thoughtful and stoically content Alan."
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More Than The Play Blog
October 10th, 2017

"Director Rebecca Taichman masterfully creates distinctive atmospheres in the three scenes of the play by varying the tone and pace...In Act I the over-the-top optimism of the first scene is powerfully juxtaposed by the transparent harshness of the second...It is a poignant period piece with a valuable message. The performances are strong. The production is poetic."
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Peconic Public Broadcasting
October 13th, 2017

"A very dull play which is more about the author’s love of the theories of time and space than anything else...The big cast is quite good, and of course very English so be prepared to handle the accents...Boyer is simply superb as the only one who gets what’s going on...All that being said, Cora the Countess of Grantham (aka Ms. Mcgovern) is the only reason to take time to see 'Time and the Conways.'"
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SusanGranger.com
October 18th, 2017

"McGovern slips artfully into the role of the arrogant, affluent, egocentric widow in J.B. Priestley’s dramedy about wealth, class and the illusion of linear time....Despite the inconsistent direction of Rebecca Taichman, this insightful, time-jumping play has a fine ensemble. Credit Patel’s dual sets for achieving continuity, along with Akerlind’s lighting, Hubbs’ evocative sound, and Young’s idiosyncratic costumes."
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T
October 30th, 2017

“J. B. Priestley's theories of how different dimensions link the past, present, and future are woven into the plot of this play...Taichman has directed this play keeping it in both the time and style of the period and the drawing room comedy. She allows the audience to slowly explore the depths of Priestley’s play...One of the attractions of this production is the return of Elizabeth McGovern to the New York stage...She handles the role expertly.”
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The Playfixer
November 3rd, 2017

“Priestley’s ‘Time and the Conways’, last seen on Broadway in the late 1930s, is being given a splendid revival by Roundabout, directed by Taichman, starring McGovern as the matriarch of a well-to-do British family. Priestley employed what was then a novel structure. The first act takes place in 1919 at a birthday party...The second act takes place 19 years later, and nobody’s life has turned out well...Taichman’s cast is superb. This one is a don’t-miss.”
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Critics at Large
October 16th, 2017

"Intriguing and affecting...Taichman’s production is a decidedly mixed bag. She doesn’t quite get the high-comic style of the first act and she presses too hard on the second, so it comes across as melodrama...The ensemble is inconsistent....Taichman won the Tony Award for 'Indecent' but for all her obvious skill at staging, she doesn’t seem to me to be in command of either style or tone, and her work with the actors is wobbly."
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On Stage Blog
October 10th, 2017

"Priestley provides careful stage directions...Taichman has elected to eliminate these directions, and replace them with a highly provocative, visually startling bit of stagecraft, the singular drawback of which is that it has absolutely nothing to do with the play. In fact it sometimes contradicts Priestley’s obvious intentions...I must confess that after two and a half hours of her misguided attempts to improve a perfect play, she staged the final moments of the play exquisitely."
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