Love in the Time of Time Machines

nytheatre.com review by Ed Malin
February 22, 2013

From the beginning of this funny tale from Toronto's Theatre Elusive, the narrator (Ned Petrie) tells us that there was a working time machine but it was destroyed while in use.  Why would someone build a time machine, and how could they mess it up?  Yes, it does have something to do with love, and yes, you will laugh.  I see that Love In The Time Of Time Machines was just performed in Toronto on Valentine's Day and now we are lucky enough to have it for five performances in FRIGID New York.  Grab a Labatt Bleue while I go into detail about this show.

There is an old family business which started with religious intentions, then diversified into the making of bingo supplies, and is now quite secretly working on a time machine.  Klein (David Tichauer) is working on this secret project, which comes to fruition just as his years-long relationship with  Gabrielle (Gillian English) dies.  The pair are seen breaking up inside their favourite karaoke bar, which fuels Klein's impassioned performance of "Don't Stop Believing".   But then rewind to a time before the breakup, when Klein walks out the door to go on a business trip to Switzerland.  Whovians in the audience will recognize a TARDIS dematerialization sound effect, and then Klein, clad in time travel jacket, walks back in to reignite the flamme of romance.  Back he goes, to the future, on the heels of the "original" Klein.  How long can they avoid a collision, while Gabrielle and Klein's elbow collisions keep love percolating?

Bingo, an excitingly random spectacle, promises at least a chance of success.  And so, if I'm not mistaken, does love.   This is a delightful show, written by Second City-trained improv artists Dave Tichauer and Ned Petrie.  The formidable Gillian English, whose recent credits include starring roles in Antony and Cleopatra and Matt and Ben is believable both in her motivation for staying with her boyfriend and for leaving him.  Director Chris Gibbs has gotten the timing of this time travel story down to the right speed to ask, if I had it to do again, would this be something I would not regret doing?

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