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"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"'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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"'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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
See it if you want to see Elizabeth McGovern on stage; you like family dramas; you enjoy seeing what happens to characters 17 years in the future
Don't see it if you don't like revivals of dated plays; you are confused by the thought of events that happen years apart also exist at the same time
See it if you'd like to see a staged version of Downton Abbey; a family's slow and apparently inevitable ruin caused by their own blindness
Don't see it if you're expecting time travel, genuinely fantastic elements (though the staging comes close i suppose), or a refreshing story
See it if if you are a fan of Kate McGonigle & enjoy history about England, specifically about class struggles through history told through a family.
Don't see it if you are not interested in a period piece about the story of economic and cultural classes in early 20th century England.
See it if tests interesting idea: how react if could see into future: how upper class Brit. life destroyed in 20 yrs; inventive set; strong cast
Don't see it if all the machinations moving back 'n forth in time/rich stagecraft results in no more than a routine critique of British upper class rot
See it if you are a fan of Elizabeth McGovern and are experiencing withdrawals from the TV show Downton Abby.
Don't see it if drawn-out British drawing room drama plays are not your “cup of tea”.
See it if You enjoy good acting, staging or set design. Or, see it if you are a fan of anyone in the cast.
Don't see it if You are looking for a show that is worthy of a new production.
See it if you like intelligent plays that reflect on the passage of time and unexpected changes in life. Think OUR TOWN in Britain of 1919-1937.
Don't see it if you're not prepared to enter the world of the upper middle class Conway family - in UK between 2 world wars. Engaging, somber, reflective.
See it if You enjoy British family dramas about class struggles and problems. The acting was very good, although the first act was slow.
Don't see it if You need more action and less talking.
See it if you enjoy a “thinker” with a healthy dose of British charm. The performances and staging are terrific.
Don't see it if you’d rather leave the theatre with a smile on your face, or you have trouble with British accents.
See it if You like plays that make you think about times and how they change dramatically. The acting in this production is great.
Don't see it if You hate very slow moving plays with lots of dialogue. If you do not like a story about British socialites this play is not for you.
See it if you are a fan of any of the actors; they all shine. Curious about a rarely seen Priestly play.
Don't see it if Dislike lengthy drawing room dramas. Prefer only fast moving, contemporary dramas or comedies.
Also Excellent set, costume and wig design.
See it if Take a classic British play about a dysfunctional family, direct actors to spit out lines with little inflection & zero sublety. Result is..
Don't see it if Long play reminiscent of stultified acting of 1930/40's movies. Not a Priestly fan, but the play is far better than this staging.
See it if Moving portrait of the lives, ambitions, & giddy promise of a British family just after WWI, & 19 yrs. later how their lives have ended up.
Don't see it if You mind a slow-paced drama. It is lyrical, sad & beautifully acted, w/superb staging. Gets a bit metaphysical about life thru time & space.
See it if you enjoy an intelligent and well done examination of the perils of ignoring change in the world and getting too comfortable with privilege
Don't see it if you like fast action plays and don't care about insulated characters who make foolish decisions.
See it if You seek historical theater revivals, family dysfunction or are Anglophile or Downton star-struck. WW1 buff? McGovern sublime.
Don't see it if You cringe at stagey British accents. Time conceit felt off to me— amateurish. Yet spouse unexpectedly adored the play—go figure. That’s art
See it if you are a fan of the cast or material. there is one of the best play scene changes i've seen. you are into drawing room dramas
Don't see it if you are looking for something fast-paced with plot twists. you do not want to reflect on time or are not interested in family dramas
See it if you like old-fashioned plays, family dramas, and a great cast working with a so-so story that hasn't quite withstood the test of time.
Don't see it if you're looking for something *new*; I liked everything but the play itself--the acting was solid, great directing, etc. It added up to a meh
See it if You are into family dramas and want to see great acting and thought provoking drama.
Don't see it if Are not into family dramas and would rather see a musical or comedy.
See it if When the future brings decline of a family, is the passage of time just cruel or is there any solace? Intricate character dynamics.
Don't see it if You are not interested in slowly developed characters set in Britain 1919-37. You don’t want to reflect on time, hopes and disappointments.
See it if you like British upper class plays and a glimpse of the unanticipated future of a family 20 years later.
Don't see it if you don't like British plays and non-linear timelines.