It's Time Review - You'll Know When

In a solo show, writer and monologist Paul Linke poignantly shares turning points in his life. If Paul Linke looks familiar, perhaps you saw him playing the role of Artie Grossman in the hit TV series, “CHiP’s.” Or maybe you saw him starring in “Motel Hell” or co-starring in “Parenthood.” Paul has a long career in show business but is proudest of his “Time” series, including “Time Flies When You’re Alive,” “Life After Time,” and “Father Time.” His current offering, IT’S TIME, originated from the true story “Time Flies When You’re Alive,” filmed as an HBO Showcase and an Ace Award nominee. This is the story of a young family torn apart by the death of their mother and how resilience and hope shine through.

Paul Linke's First Christmas After Being Widowed - Photo by Ed Krieger

Paul wants everyone to know that time is important: “It stirs the soul and is a constant reminder of the fragility of life…it is our most precious commodity, the currency of existence…we are all inextricably bound by a common fate.”

IT’S TIME gives Paul the chance to explore what his family means to him while sharing his inner thoughts with the audience. Widowed at 38, Paul was left with three small children and an agent who dumped him because his agent felt that he couldn’t be funny anymore while grieving. In the midst of his grief, he became both parents to his brood and turned to writing as a kind of catharsis. His emotional life was on hold until, one day, his five-year-old daughter asked, “Can we have a new mommy?”

Paul Linke First Meets His Bride - Photo by Ed Krieger

How that “new mommy” came about is an important part of Paul’s saga. Despite pain and pathos, he was able to see the humor in life as he described finding a special someone to complete his family circle – the perfect wife and mother loved by one and all.

Paul’s monologue celebrates emotions and the interplay of words. It is readily apparent that he enjoys playing with word puzzles which excite and intrigue him. Paul’s message is clear. Enjoy the moment, for that could be all you have. Let everyone around you know how much they mean to you. Every day. At the same time, have fun. See the humor all around you.

Paul Linke's Wife on an Anniversary Cruise - Photo by Ed Krieger

IT’S TIME manages to fulfill his message brilliantly. He speaks to everyone in the audience – and yet to each person individually. Paul Linke is clearly a master monologist who knows just how to hold each audience member in the palm of his hand.

Paul Linke in "It's Time" - Photo by Ed Krieger

Adding immeasurably to Paul Linke’s account are the photos which are projected on the screen behind him – photos of himself, his children, his new bride, his most recent family Christmas. From a place of pain and disruption, he finally moves to a place of peace and happiness. Let’s hope that – after he considers what he’s already shared – he still has more “time” left for another monologue as poignant and satisfying as this was.  Kudos to Edward Edwards, who developed and directed IT’S TIME. Theirs seems to be a fruitful and creative collaboration.

ITS TIME runs through December 4, 2016, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays, 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays. The Ruskin Group Theatre is located at 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Tickets are $25 ($20 students, guild members, and seniors). For information and reservations, call 310-397-3244 or go online.

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