A Lifetime Burning

August 14, 2009 3:01 am

Primary Stages - Lifetime Burning - Cusi Cram

” [Cram] has a really original and poetic voice, and this piece is incredibly topical, with the stories of James Frey and Margaret Seltzer out there and how blurry the lines have become between reality and fiction.You look at things like reality TV and we’ve arrived at a place where fiction and reality are pretty closely linked, and Cusi’s found a way of writing this that is very language-driven, that molds very complicated three-dimensional characters despite its poetic approach. As an actor, it’s an honor to live in something as complicated and range-y as this role.”

-Jennifer Westfeldt, on her performance in the play A Lifetime Burning

Jennifer stars in Cusi Cram’s A Lifetime Burning, directed by Pam MacKinnon, at Primary Stages Off-Broadway. In this world premiere, trust fund darling Emma (Westfeldt) imagines what her life would have been like had she come from a less privileged background.  Trouble is, she chronicles her alternate life in a new tell-all “memoir” that was sold for a hefty advance.  When Emma is exposed, will her sister, Tess (Christina Kirk), stand by her?  Or will Emma’s deceit destroy their already fractured relationship? This dark comedy brings up questions of legacy, loyalty and what it means to belong.

Read below to see what just some of the critics are saying about Jennifer’s inspired performance as Emma in A Lifetime Burning

“Jennifer Westfeldt, who co-starred in Broadway’s “Wonderful Town,” is more than wonderful here as Emma. This tremendously intuitive actress turns Emma’s own flawed life into a captivating portrait.” -Roma Torre, NY1

“Jennifer Westfeldt gives an engaging and nuanced performance as a manic-depressive woman in Cusi Cram’s overly ambitious play.” -Andy Probst, Theater Mania

“A Lifetime Burning,” which takes its title from the second poem (“East Coker”) in T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets,” starts out by knocking Emma (she of the fictional autobiography, played by a terrific Westfeldt) down a peg or two.” -Sam Thielman, Variety

“Emma could easily have come across as a spoiled brat, but Jennifer Westfeldt (“Kissing Jessica Stein”) pulls off an admirable feat of acting legerdemain by making us care for this hot box of crazy.” -David Sheward, The Hollywood Reporter