It doesn’t quite live up to its title but Provision Theater’s “The Time of Your Life” paints a beautiful postcard of a different time. Penned, set and Pulitzered in 1939, William Saroyan’s tale of the denizens of a rundown bar in depression-era San Francisco bar is sentimental but has grit ahead of its time. Provision’s Artistic Director Tim Gregory leads the cast, numbering twenty-two in all. Gregory’s Joe is smooth and funny and there is sadness to him as well. They are all quite adept at embodying the style of the period. Characters on stage for mere minutes leave a lasting stroke on the composition of the play. Visually the piece is attractive. The sets, lights and costumes could be filmed and put directly on a 1940s movie screen. That said, if the approach to the material had been darker and more realistic the hookers, alcoholics and swindlers would not feel quite as candy-coated. The candy, however, is sweet. (William Scott)
At the Viaduct, 3111 N. Western, (773)296-6024. This production is now closed.