Robert Bush 6:31 p.m., May 18
Marisa Wegrzyn's comedy-drama plays with time, and how much time we have, and space. Three generations of clock-repairers share a secret: people have a "mortal clock," coiled around their heart, which tells how long they'll live.
Some are born with one lodged in their brain. They hear each second of their life ticking - nay, banging - away.
A tricky operation involving blunt instruments and a druggy brew, but no anesthetic, can extract the object. But what happens after? Can you reset it? Can you add days or years, or even shorten your time and give the difference to someone else?
Then there's Cari Lee. The drummer, for the rock group Smack Dab and the Moist Towelettes, should be a least 34. She's stuck at 17 because her mortal clock's on the blink. So she's tentatively immortal, and all her days are the same.
Some have seen their clock and know the precise moment they will die. Cari Lee says "you know exactly how many times you'll get to sigh and laugh and cry. Nothing seems important because everything is important."
The notion ripples like a boulder tossed in a pond. If you knew you'd live to 80, how would you? Stay sharp for the long haul? Test your invincibility by courting danger? What if you have 10 months?
The play raises questions people don't often take time to ask. Probing stuff. But the script needs more signposts, since the ornate superstructure - three acts, different periods, then past and present together - makes simply following along take mental effort away from the theme.
Moxie Theatre has a knack for mixing genres and combining the real and surreal. The Jennifer Eve Thorn-directed production, one of her best efforts to date, is eminently watchable, even as one tries to figure out who's who.
John Anderson gives clock-repairers Jimmy and Richard an earnest, likeable, Everyman quality. Jo Anne Glover's stern and visionary as a woman who may transcend Time itself. Young Erin Petersen hits all the right notes as each generation's young woman. Justin Lang plays various young men with spontaneous vitality. And Samantha Ginn looks to have carved out Cari Lee as her personal property. As sane as she is spacey, Ginn's a delight throughout.
Just a taste of the play's humor: Cari Lee knows she has 10 months to live. So she world cruises or paints towns mauve, right? Nope. She meant to, but there was just too much good stuff on TV.
Jennifer Brawn Gittings usually works wonders with Moxie's costumes. For Hickorydickory Jacinda Johnston-Fischerhandles that assignment capably (as does lighting designer Mia Bane). Instead, Gittings created one of Moxie's most appealing, and effective, sets. At least 50 clocks, of every conceivable size and stripe, dot the walls. And on the floor, a beige, sundial-like circle with Roman numerals just might be the Center of Time in the Universe. And it moves.