"Time Flies When You Are Alive"

"Time Flies When You Are Alive" is a critically acclaimed solo show by Paul Linke that has played all across the country and even been filmed for HBO.  It is by no mere accident that this production has enjoyed such a reaction.  A living Valentine formed from a scrapbook of memories, "Time Flies When You Are Alive" is Paul's immortalization of the life and death of his first wife at the hands of cancer.

Generally, I am not a fan of one person shows.  It is rare that a single artist with a blank stage can grip me so entirely that I am willing to journey with them.  Paul's ability to weave a tale with words is so powerful and skilled, I not only jumped in to his heart wrenching story, I didn't resent being reduced to so many thunderous emotional pieces.

Paul Linke keeps all eyes on him

The singularity of this production lays in the undaunted display of Paul's heart and soul for all to see. It is the bravest thing an artist can do.  It is the purest thing an artist can do.  When in the hands of a masterful storyteller, the result is magic.  Without apologies, the audience enters into the intimate world of a romance and how it is destroyed then rebuilt by the sheer will of two people intent upon living, and in this case, dying with the flag of truth to self held unwaveringly.

Remarkably, considering the heavy material, Paul eloquently wove a playful sense of humor in the under currents of his story, rendering palpable the darker aspects of the journey.  It didn't take much to be taken in by his charm, his outlook on life, his overpowering love for his wife and children, or the spiritual taint to everything he seemed to touch.  The fragility in his understanding of his lack of perfection and openness in sharing it all was rock solid strength to me. 

The one thing I am entirely in awe of is that Paul can nightly get up and tear his soul apart repeatedly with such immutable precision.  It is a humbling thought as an artist in my own right to be confronted with that skill.  It is a gift, without a doubt, given to us all should we be open to the experience.

"Time Flies When You're Alive" runs for 8 performances total at the Ruskin Group Theater in Santa Monica, starting October 8th through the 30th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm.  The Ruskin Group Theatre is located at 3000 Airport Drive, Santa Monica, near the Santa Monica Airport.  Show tickets are $20. For reservations or information call 310.397.3244.Or to visit there web site click here.

If you only see one theatrical event a year, this is the one you should see.  In fact, if you are married or involved with someone you have a deep relationship with, take them along.  You will both be better for the experience.  And don't forget to give Paul a hand shake or, better yet, a hug at the end.  His allowance of your journey through his sacred territory deserves it.


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