San Diego Fringe: Scenes From Mars One: Now With 68% Less Gravity! and Los Dorados (The Golden Ones)
David Dixon 10:30 a.m., July 28
J.B. Priestley's 1937 drama is not a great play. But it's a haunter. The Old Globe's excellent cast probably won't have too many standing ovations because the spell doesn't break until long after the curtain call. Neil Patel's sleek, stark white set tells the story by itself: a box set for act one (1919), a modified thrust for Act two (1938), and a return to the original — now seen from the hindsight of 19 years, and the changes in the Conway family from hopes and courtships to disillusion then back to the seeds of the changes. Director Rebecca Taichman does an outstanding job: fluid movement, sculpted blockings, and deft Chekhovian nuances. Shakespeare called Time "a great-sized monster of ingratitudes." So do most of Priestley's characters. But maybe it isn't, as wise Alan says, not if you see the Bigger Picture.