"The Dos and Don'ts of Time Travel" theater review

 

In The Dos and Don'ts of Time Travel, free spirited Zoey travels in time to salvage her relationship with the more conservative Claire. As Philadelphia playwright Nicholas Wardigo conceives it, time travel is facilitated not by DeLoreans or wormholes, but by sheer human will. After Claire discovers the secret, she continually repeats the two years of her life that she can't get right. On the sideline, Zoey's friend Rachel offers us time travel wisdom from her college thesis on movies like Back to the Future, Somewhere in Time and The Matrix. Judging from audience laughter, we share Rachel's fascination with the genre's mind-bending plots and strained logic. While Wardigo's story has its share of time travel impossibilities, he presents an interesting human foible, the desire to reconstruct personal history to make things "right." Wardigo gets it right with witty yet realistic dialogue and a strong sense of heart. Zoey, played sweetly and sassily in different time zones by Kelli Johnson and Sarah M. Grant, may be misguided in her efforts, but is always earnest in her desire. I applaud Wardigo for keeping his somehow fluffy and thoughtful play to a just-right 70 minutes -- and director/set designer Bryan Fonseca for using the space, players and time so well. In its Midwest premiere, Time Travel is an enjoyable ride that allows us to ponder our pop culture past and pop through time with an undefeatable spirit. Through Aug. 15; 317-635-PLAY, www.phoenixtheatre.org.

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