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Take a lesson about love from the play, 'Time Enough'

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By Kirsten Laskey

Love, like a lot of things in life, comes without any rules or guidelines so it’s up to you to determine what choices will cause good and bad effects. While loads of complicated advice about love exists, local playwright Robert Benjamin’s play, “Time Enough” offers some simple guidance: Just be brave.The audience gets this lesson from Ken (Eric Bjorklund) and Annie (Fran Martone), two people in their golden years who are attending a Shakespeare festival. At first it seems Annie and Ken are just two strangers who randomly bumped into each other at a bed and breakfast, but their relationship is much more complex.It turns out Annie and Ken were high school sweethearts who eventually broke up as teenagers. But, now, after all these years, the romance is re-blooming.It starts with just cups of tea, it progresses to a hike and then advances into a dinner date.It may sound sweet, but this relationship will not be an easy one for them; as Ken and Annie’s love develops, so do their obstacles. Annie’s husband died from cancer and the disease still shackles her to some extremely tragic memories. Ken is also dealing with his own physical and mental demons.However, while Annie openly shares her predicament, Ken keeps his secret. But, the script cleverly offers clues about his situation. For instance, after taking a hike, Ken shows Annie his pictures, one of which is of an old pine tree that Ken points out is beginning to die.When his secret is revealed, their love too seems at risk of shriveling, drying up and dying.Will their love survive? The ending of the play answers this question wonderfully.While the set never changes from the lobby of the bed and breakfast, the characters go through some major evolutions. Annie starts off as a high maintenance woman, who refuses Ken’s scarf to get rid of the chills because it doesn’t compliment her “palette” even though it’s the middle of the night and she is wearing pajamas.However, Annie shows she is actually a woman who has been hurt by love, but is still strong enough to give it another chance.Martone is superb in this role. She steals the show and really makes the audience feel what she is feeling.Ken also evolves. He first appears as a sly, little devil. After first meeting Annie, he declares he can’’t find his room key and will probably have to sleep on the couch in the lobby. However, as Annie leaves, he pulls out it of his pocket.But Ken’s sneakiness is filled with good intentions; he doesn’t want to hurt people, so he closes himself off and maintains a bachelor lifestyle.To be able to affectively undergo these transformations, especially in just 90 minutes, is very impressive. Benjamin’s script works, not just because it packs a lot into a relatively short amount of time, but its effects linger long after the curtain falls. In connection to the Shakespeare festival, Alison Mercer-Smith and Matthew Ryan Schauer channel their Shakespearean sides while they perform two short skits from “Taming of the Shrew.”“Time Enough” will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and March 21 and 22. A matinee will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors, and are available at CB Fox or at the door.