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EMAV Review: 'About Time' is an enjoyable evening out

Updated: Mar 20, 2019

★★★☆☆ - Satisfying

“About Time” by Tom Cole is a script that could use some red meat on its bones but, since this is not an original play, my job is to critique the production, now in performances at Theatre in the Valley.

On the surface, it’s a sweet peek into the life of an aging couple, He and She, who have reached the point of staring the inevitable in the face. Life is slowing down, short term memory is faltering, and the joints are failing. Underneath, it’s a treatise on what sets humanity apart from other life: We know and understand that we have a finite amount of time. Some of us accept it gracefully, and the closer we get to it the more some of us fear the end.

The former would be She, played with dotty delight by Helen Okonski. She moves through the opening scene going about the business of life as on any normal day, the aches and pains of age not quite permanently settled. Okonski gives the character a Sophia-mixed-with-Blanche “Golden Girls” quality; she’s slyly ditzy.

The latter is He brought to curmudgeonly fun by Peter Vitale. He limps on a bad knee, growls about the short-term memory of She, and half whines about not getting fed on time or at all. Vitale delivers a softer Detective Fish from the old comedy series “Barney Miller;” snarky on the outside, heart of gold in the inside.