PEACE IN OUR TIME (THE ANTAEUS COMPANY): 90% – SWEET

The "Epps Cocoa" cast in The Antaeus Company's “Peace In Our Time” at the Deaf West Theatre. Credit: Geoffrey Wade.

SWEET
This handsome production will get an audience – with this many cast members, how could it not – but it especially ought to be seen by young people, and most specifically by those who don’t think they like theater. Disguised as imagined history, like all great art it’s about the future. It’s a very traditional-looking show, with its detailed Tom Buderwicz set and gorgeous costumes by Jessica Olson, yet it feels vividly new, as Coward so frequently does. We can’t resist him. He’s as compassionate as writers get, and his sympathy lies with the audience. Therefore ours lies with him.
Jason Rohrer – Stagehappenings

SWEET
This beautifully mounted production, directed with poise by Casey Stangl, deserves to be a smasheroo in Los Angeles. The absorbing fictional world that it creates is like a majestic sepia-tinged photograph sprung to life. Every aspect of the staging, from Tom Buderwitz’s London pub set to Jeremy Pivnick’s shadowy lighting to Jessica Olson’s convincing period costumes, ushers us back in time to a moment not so long ago when civilization was hanging by a thread.
Charles McNulty – LA Times

BITTER
The two questions this version raises are why anyone thought interpolating Coward musical numbers would contribute to its impact, and why the accomplished Antaeus company is wasting its resources on material of this caliber.
Bob Verini – Variety

BITTERSWEET
Peace in Our Time is a handsome – though overly melodramatic and drawn out – production with strong performances and decent British accents from all.
Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

BITTERSWEET
This is an ensemble piece and notwithstanding the blatant distractions noted above, if one is a fan of Antaeus and owns earplugs, it may be worth a trip to NoHo for the show. It’s a long one. The British accents are acceptable to each Brit. Not so much for the Germans and one Austrian.
Michael Sheehan – On Stage Los Angeles

SWEET
Casey Stangl performed the mammouth task of directing two casts with shrewdness and grace on the small stage of the Antaeus at the Deaf West Theatre. Barry Creyton’s adaptation tightens the play and gives it a gleaming whole. A bravo for Tom Buderwitz’s truly splenid scenic design which catches the pub from carved ceiling to pictures to fine details. And thanks to Noel Coward for taking time off from musicals to give us this!
Laura Hitchcock – CurtainUp

SWEET
There may never be another chance to see Peace In Our Time in our time. Don’t miss it!
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA

SWEET
The direction by Casey Stangl is crisp, energetic and sensitive to the audience, performers and Coward’s play. It does not miss a beat. Nor does it want to. This seldom-seen Coward effort is like a symphony with multiple overtures. It should not be fast-forwarded or rewound. Given the current economic and political plight, the questions asked here are of the utmost significance and necessity.
Radomir Luza – North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch

SWEET
As usual with Antaeus stagings, there are two complete, alternating casts on weekends, with Thursday and Friday performances that will feature actors from both casts, depending partially on who’s available on any given day. The cast I saw, featuring Nagle and his fellow “Stubbs” team, seemed just about perfect, but Charles McNulty of the Times was equally enthusiastic about the “Epps” cast, so I look forward to seeing Peace in Our Time again with at least some members of the “Epps” group.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Watch

SWEET
More important, the extraordinary performances of the 22-member Friday night Antaeus cast (the roles are performed by a different Antaeus cast Saturday night) make the reappearance of “Peace in Our Time” after six decades a bona fide theatrical event, which must not be missed by devotees of Coward and should not be missed by theatergoers, rabid or casual.
Thomas Waldman – NoHoArtsDistrict

SWEET
“London Pride,” Noël Coward’s deathless 1941 anthem, here frames his rarely seen 1946 antiwar melodrama, and it’s thematically apt. So is the play, which adaptor Barry Creyton, director Casey Stangl, and a magnificent double-cast ensemble shape into a significant theatrical event of this or any year.
David C. Nichols – Backstage

SWEET
PEACE IN OUR TIME features immersive sound cues by John Zalewski and a detailed set care of Tom Buderwitz, paired with some gorgeous Forties looks by Jesica Olson and solid performances of over 20 speaking roles by the Antaeus ensemble under the direction of Casey Stangl. In an age when ‘Broadway’ touring companies at the Pantages feel paired down for the road, this Noel Coward reworking is a must for fans of Coward’s music and large casts alike.
Howard Cohen – Thomas Hampton Reviews

SWEET
All together — book, performers, songs, set, lighting, costumes — it’s a bit of all right and Bob’s your uncle.
George Alexander – Culture Vulture

SWEET
Your script is a stark reminder of the folly of war, but what could have been a preachy aide memoire of those nasty Germans turned into an uplifting, compelling, and completely transformative experience, thanks to both the ideas put forth in your play and the loving aesthetic of the Antaeus Company.
Tony Frankel – Stage and Cinema

SWEET
As is typical of this esteemed classical-theatre company, the acting is top-level. However, if there is one small fly-in-the-ointment in this production, it’s the level of British accents from a totally non-Brit cast. Mostly okay, but not pluperfect. Still, the quality of what does count is very high. Cullum, Henning, Knight, and especially Chase, make the most of the material. It’s high-end acting, for the most part, allowing us insight into their characters’ lives.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings

SWEET
But this does not detract from what is an immensely entertaining and enjoyable gem of a play. The Antaeus Company is to be commended for rescuing Noel Coward’s “Peace in Our Time” from obscurity and for adapting it so smoothly and seamlessly.
Barnaby Hughes – Socal

SWEET
Stangl’s achievement is impressive on many levels, from wrangling 46 actors in two casts to pacing that floats the show along just so, but mainly it’s the care taken that every character is made distinct that helps make this theatrical world thrive.
Terry Morgan – LAist

SWEET
Noel Coward wrote many hits in his day, but one play that he wrote, Peace In Our Time, was not one that drew audiences, much to his disappointment. This anti World War II drama may have been too serious for theater goers in those days, and maybe it wasn’t what they were expecting from Noel Coward. It is still rarely produced, but that is unfortunate, because it is an exceptionally interesting concept, exceptionally written, and in this production, superbly acted.
Carol Kaufman Segal – Reviewplays

SWEET
Who would have thought that at a time when America is still engaged in two seemingly endless wars and the Middle East is a cauldron of instability that the most provocative and powerful wartime drama in recent memory would be an obscure, 65-year-old play by Noel Coward? Such is the case, however, with this magnificent production from the estimable Antaeus Company.
Christopher Cappiello – Frontiers

SWEET
Casey Stangl’s direction is nothing short of miraculous. This is a small house with a small (though rather deep) stage space, but she keeps the large cast in effortless motion. And she understands how to use light, movement, and shadow to focus attention—leaving images that linger in your memory as giant close-ups.
Samuel Bernstein – WeHo News

SWEET
The theater offers the most impermanence of experiences. One can see the same play performed by the same cast three nights running and each night the experience will be a different one. It is a quality that adds to the uniqueness of theater.There are however evenings which one wishes could be enshrined, performances one would want to have preserved forever in golden amber. For me The Antaeus Company’s production of Noël Coward’s “Peace in Our Time” will be one.
Ernest Kearney – WorkingAuthor

SWEET
Designer Tom Buderwitz’s superbly detailed set and Jessica Olson’s meticulous costumes complement the performances, nailing with pitch-perfect precision the ambiance of the era.
Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

SWEET
The songs add a memorable flourish to this old-fashioned drama and make the whole production well worth seeing.
Cynthia Citron – LA Examiner

SWEET
Casey Stangl does a far better job directing his ensemble cast than the baseball manager with a similar name did managing the New York Mets back in the 1960s. Unlike the Mets, the Antaeus team never drops the ball, which continues rolling along.
Ed Rampell – Jesther Entertainment

SWEET
Bravo, bravo, bravo to a sensational production, yet another triumph for the Antaeus Company.
Don Grigware – BroadwayWorld

SWEET
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll maybe live it again. as I did.
Madeleine Shaner – Park La Brea News/Beverly Press (opens in pdf)

BITTERSWEET
But, lovely as Tom Budewitz’s recreation of a London pub may be, I felt less as if I were in a pub and more that I was in a theater. And I had the uneasy feeling throughout that a kind of smugness infected this production, as if the company was congratulating itself on the fine work they had done by unearthing a play by Coward that we may not have known even existed. It made one feel reprimanded for not cheering.
Harvey Perr – Stage and Cinema

SWEET
This is a case where the production endears the viewer more than the play. It’s another debt-defying act of valour by Antaeus, and that defiant stand adds extra enrichment to the portrayals, as the financially strapped acting troupe steps in to revive the “spiritually damaged” characters in Shattucks’ London outpost.
Cristofer Gross – TheaterTimes

PEACE IN OUR TIME
The Antaeus Company
Deaf West Theatre
5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays; Ends Dec. 11, 2011
Tickets: $30-$34; (818) 506-1983
Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

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