The Theater: Love in Ruins

PAST TENSE by Jack Zeman

Houses do not have lives of their own. When they are bare, they are emptied of life. Something has died. In Past Tense, currently having its world premiere at the handsome new quarters of the Hartford Stage Company in Connecticut, the deceased, aged 23, is a marriage.

As Past Tense begins, the stage is not quite bare. The stripped-down living room contains two sets of hand luggage—his and hers—and a sofa shrouded in a white slipcover, symbolic, perhaps, of a once warm marital bed. But Emily (Barbara Baxley) and Ralph Michaelson (George Grizzard) soon fill the room...

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