What’s the most important thing in your life? What drives your decision-making and gives you purpose? Playwright Donald Margulies’ well-paced script carefully examines these questions for two couples after one of them, a photojournalist on the front lines, is almost killed by a roadside bomb. With the help of her long-time boyfriend James (played with multi-faceted intensity by Randall Newsome), Sarah Goodwin (Sally Murphy) attempts a bumpy recovery from her near death experience, limping through her apartment with a face full of shrapnel. As longtime friend and editor Richard, Francis Guinan is superb, coming across like a loveable Newt Gingrich, gushing his love for his new (and much younger) girlfriend Mandy (a glowing Kristina Valada-Viers). This second couple not only helps drive the plot, but also provides an additional viewpoint on the careers Sarah and James have chosen. Is it really worth putting their lives at risk? What are they ultimately accomplishing? Early on it becomes clear that while James is ready to call it quits on the war reporting and live out the rest of his days writing fluffy pop pieces in comfortable married bliss in the couple’s New York City loft (beautifully imagined by Walt Spangler), Sarah is aching to get back in harm’s way to continue her calling. Director Austin Pendleton carefully examines each nuanced moment of this moving and delicate exploration and for the most part his actors deliver impressively. But as the central character, Murphy’s stilted and breathy line deliveries cause much of the emotional power of the piece to be lost. In order for the dramatic decisions the characters make to affect the audience we have to be fully committed to the personalities of the decision-makers and that’s just not the case with Murphy. As a result this production fails to live up to its full potential.