New in 2017 Oscar nominee Elizabeth McGovern stars in a time-traveling play about the transformation of a British family in the first half of the twentieth century, exploring notions of choice, chance, and destiny.
From the producers: In 1919 Britain, Mrs. Conway is full of optimism during her daughter's lavish twenty-first birthday celebration. The Great War is over, wealth is in the air, and the family's dreams bubble over like champagne. Jump nineteen years into the future, though, and the Conways' lives have transformed unimaginably.
Author J. B. Priestley is perhaps best known for his 1945 play "An Inspector Calls." "Time and the Conways" was inspired by Priestley's reading of J. W. Dunne's book "An Experiment with Time" in which Dunne posits that all time is happening simultaneously. The play is widely regarded as one of the best of Priestley's "Time Plays," a series of pieces for theatre which played with different concepts of Time.
Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Elizabeth McGovern ("Downton Abbey") returns to Broadway after many years to star as Mrs. Conway. She was last seen in Roundabout’s 1992 production of "Hamlet," in which she starred as Ophelia. McGovern leads a cast that includes Tony nominee Steven Boyer ("Hand to God"), Anna Camp ("Equus"), Gabriel Ebert, Charlotte Parry, Matthew James Thomas, Anna Baryshnikov, Brooke Bloom, Alfredo Narciso, and Cara Ricketts. Rebecca Taichman, fresh off her Tony-nominated success with "Indecent," directs.
What's the Roundabout? One of the great nonprofit dreadnoughts of the New York theater scene, the Roundabout has three Broadway venues and an Off-Broadway stage in midtown. Prominent artists are usually engaged, significant work is usually done, and even at the smallest of the theaters, the work has the uniform quality that one would expect from such a large and prominent shop. More here.
Parts of "Time and the Conways" come off as obvious exercises in dramatic irony...Other parts look at the world as it really is and are freshly gripping. Give credit to the Roundabout for producing this thoughtful revival of an ambitious, vexing, multilayered drama. Still...too often it feels like an elaborate mechanism for deploying once-fashionable cosmological ideas. Taichman's lovely staging does what it can...yet all this loving attention to the play's philosophical superstructure does little to alleviate the stiffness of the actual scenes.
This forgotten gem of a play pushes the boundaries of its well-heeled drawing room setting into a metaphysical dream world, where glimpses of a future we have already witnessed will later haunt characters in their past. As deftly handled by director Taichman, Priestley's metaphysics are poignant where, in less able hands, they could come off as annoyingly mystical. And while its "Downton [Abbey]" connection might fill seats, "The Conways," despite some superficial period similarities, reveals its own complex pleasures - just give it time.