"The Time of Your Life" Review

"The Time of Your Life" Review

"Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding-place and let it be free and unashamed. . ."
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“You won’t beat that machine!” is one of the opening phrases of the play The Time of Your Life. Playwright William Saroyan writes a play about the American Dream and the hardships of American’s in the early years of World War II. Set in San Francisco’s waterfront, the eve of the war is looming and the sentiments of engaging in this war blooms in the atmosphere.A bit like our time of age, Saroyan’s life in 1939 is reflected through the search of shelter and comfort during chaotic change. In our daily lives in America, we do find ourselves living in fear and this play offers the ability to question it, while giving a hopeful energy throughout the piece.

Hunter College’s production doesn’t seem to give up that idea throughout the play. The director Inés Braun incorporates this essence of hopelessness, hope and belief in human dignity. She uses the time period of America as a powerful hope of freedom. It is no question about the Great Depression of the 1930’s and she doesn’t seem to allow the audience to forget that this was happening outside of Nick’s Bar. She uses the bar as a symbolism of hope and home. The characters bring this idea of shutting the world when they enter this world and Inés clearly developed this atmosphere.

When a production like this takes place in a college, I do get a fear of bringing xenophobic ideas onto the campus. It is scary to see how a director, actor and designer try to execute these sentiments of America, in which still exists today. However, it seemed like although this play, being an existential play, the director, actors, and designers all knew how to take on this topic and I was proud to see how the audience saw America in the 1930’s by giving the audience that safe energy and meaningful kindness that still existed within the crisis.

I absolutely loved the costumes. The costume designers Deepsikha Chatterjee and Oriana Lineweaver make a fashion statement. They emphasize the fashion of the time period and make it clear who is who, and who is rich or not. The specificity of the costumes made it more visually appealing and I was able to picture the world of the play. It was almost like link to what was going to happen to whom on stage. The set designer Caitlyn Ayer executed a marvelous set. It was huge! The bar was a real bar, the doors, the color; you were transported into this world because of the set. The lights were so subtle and the ability to tell the time of day was clear. Ian Calderon delivers a troubled world through his world of lights. Although the designers were my favorite, the actors lived in this world as if it were their own. They get a standing ovation for their ensemble work. They worked so well all together and as a cast are a powerful group of people. The ending was my favorite! It was like watching Humphrey Bogart walk away in Casablanca.

Overall, it was a classic and beautiful piece of art.

The Time of Your Life runs from now until November 18th of 2017 at the Loewe Theatre in Hunter College.

Cover Image Credit: Hunter College

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To That Guy

"You are my Love from the Star and I was your love sent from Above"
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 Hey!

          Did you know my life was better without you in it? Way back before I even met you? But it was the best when you came unexpectedly. I can’t say that you are the perfect guy because there is no such thing as that. But I appreciate on how you made yourself perfect for me. The first time you laid your eyes on me I was like “woah, that’s the kind of look  I want to see for the rest of my life.” Our first meet was not that memorable, it was in a certain mall and we don’t have that much time because you are flying back to your country. But you know what? It’s not being memorable or what, it is being with the person who stood by beside you.

          I was scared the moment you left my side that day, but it was the scariest when you ask me to be yours and have this thing we called “Long Distance Relationship”. I don’t know what to say or to react that time, I was speechless but part of me was happy, I mean, isn’t that the best feeling in the whole world? When a guy came into your life and accepted the whole of you? Being with you was indeed a ride of a roller coaster. We’ve got our ups and downs, fights and arguments and sweet and bitter love just what like normal couples do. I always told you how blessed I am to meet someone like you. You are my love from the star and I was your love sent from above. We always make God as the center of our relationship. And you always say, “for this relationship to work we just need to be honest and be loyal to each other.” For a moment there, I thought “us” would actually work until the end.

         It’s been how many months since we had our last conversations as a couple right? I know I’ve been really busy this past few days and it’s been a tough fight between the two of us. We tried and fought for the love we thought we had, but things just don’t end the way we expected it to be. I am not writing this to tell everybody the whole story of us instead, I am writing this because for those months that we’ve been together I’ve kept you a secret from everyone. You may call this too late, but I am here now to show the world how great of a guy are you and how thankful I am.

          You are the most effort guy I had ever encountered. Imagine? Sending me those stuffs every month just to remind me that I am loved was the best part of you. Writing a book for me was the most incredible thing you ever did and going home just to see me was the perfect. But I lost all of that. We may lose the relationship we had but I want to thank you for saving our friendship. Can ex-lovers be friends? We’ll see.

          This last gift you sent hit me hard. Your note says “I know you will see a lot of girls holding flowers, chocolates and bears everywhere and I am not there for you to experience it, so I’m sending this instead. I just want to say sorry and thank you. Sorry for the pain I’ve caused and thank you for everything. Moments with you was irreplaceable. I know that how happy we are right now, you and I will always carry a piece of each other, let it be known that we found home in each other’s warmth and you’ll always have a piece within me. You deserve the best and nothing less.” That note made me realize how lucky I am. You are a single lesson, but a lot was learned, what we had made me who I am today, and I am thankful. To that guy who was always there for me, you may not have my heart, but I want you to know that you always have my full support. See you again soon, my friend.

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The New In The Old

Sometimes in order to travel forward, it means taking a couple steps back...
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Have you ever had one of those day where it seems like nothing is going the way you planned? And all you can do is look back at the mistakes you made or could have done better?

Or have you ever looked back at moments in your life and wished that there was a button that you could push? A button that could cause you to rewind, whatever you did? Or whatever you said?

If only life really worked life that, right?

This year I’ve tried to take a novel approach to this notion. Instead of trying to change the past or run from it. Sometimes it can be better to embrace. Embrace those things that may not have worked out as planned.

Sometimes to travel forward it means taking a couple steps back...

There is a quote from one of my favorite movies My Big Fat Greek Wedding that states, “Don’t let the past dictate who you are, but let it be a part of who you will become”.

Does that mean that we should obsess and dwell over the past? No. I don’t think so. But, I think that if we should face our past mistakes and breathe life into them. Rather than carrying them like burdens on our back.

Now with all this in mind, it’s not an easy thing to do. There are many times that I may think back to little mistakes that I’ve made and shake my head. But acknowledging what we could have done instead and keeping that in mind for the next time is the first step.

American Cartoonist Bil Keane once said “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present”.

Cover Image Credit: Pezibear-Pixabay.com

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