According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Time Being

Time Being takes on some tough philosophical matters with a cast of young performers who do everything they can- sing, tap, and even gymnastics- in an effort to solve the mysteries of life.
Photo by Michaelangelo Robles
Reviewed by Kristyn R Smith

Time Being, a new musical with story, book, and lyrics by Erika Stadtlander, attempts to clarify, well, "being" in its 90 minute run time. Sorting out life in any amount of time would be a challenge, so it comes as no surprise that this jumbled script loses its way. The dialogue is bogged down from word one with questions. Questions that are unanswered. None of the why or hows of "being" that puzzle us throughout our lives, are brought to any light here. Nor is any hypothesis made. But Stadtlander doesn't let a lack of story put a damper on the music.

The song and dance routines are shoddily placed interruptions to the mess of a script, and as such are the only relief from the metaphysical musings and existential ramblings. That is to say, they don't particular have anything to with "being." Although they lack in meaning and coherence to the whole, there are a couple of numbers that stand out for at least pleasing the ear. The choreography too, is often eye catching and dynamic. But the mostly bright, cheerful music is no more complementary to the darkly depressing book than the cast is to the subject matter.

The show features a cast of twelve performers who range in age from third grade to recent college grads. The majority, however, appear to be pre-teens. Despite their dedication to the show, its obvious they don't really understand what its about (no wonder, neither do I). But its truly a shame because there is definite talent here. The male and female leads, Eric Nelson and Abby Lindig, are particularly great. By and large the cast has beautiful voices and they enthusiastically executed dance steps, but the cute smiling faces simply cannot do enough to raise the bar of this material.

My advice regarding Time Being- don't bother. The press release is a let down after seeing this show. It tells a better story, its more insightful, and best of all its over in ten minutes. Who has time to be bombarded with so many questions about existence when life is all around you?
Time Being
Theatre Three
311 West 43rd Street
(between 8th and 9th Ave)
Runs through May 13th
Tickets are $20
Available through
or 212-279-4200

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