Sunday, February 28, 2010

Women's Theatre Project: The Year of Magical Thinking (4 reviews)

The Women's Theatre Project opened it's production of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking on February 18, 2010.
An almost unfathomably shocking period in Joan Didion's life is revealed in this play, capturing the compassion, humor and be-wilderment of a fiercely intelligent woman whose world lurches suddenly from the ordinary to the unimaginable. The one-woman show is a love letter to a child and a tribute to an extraordinary, unconventional marriage, told with raw candor and a brilliant storyteller's gift for the absurd.
Genie Croft directed Angie Radosh in this one-woman show.

In a positive move for a beleaguered online magazine, Roger Martin reviewed for Miami Artzine:
Angie Radosh, as Joan Didion, makes us believe the unbelievable. Her husband is not dead, he's coming back; she hides behind her stoicism, she's a “cool one”, she can handle it all, because she knows he's just gone away. He'll be back. “Magical thinking” will make it so.
A ninety minute one-person play is a difficult thing. For the actor, the director and the audience. A momentary lapse on stage and one feels the need for other actors, fresh faces, new voices. Keep me engrossed, please. But Angie Radosh never lapses. She gives Didion's spare lines such grace and emotion that we are captured from start to finish. Not really a play, but a monologue, Angie Radosh and director Genie Croft do very well by The Year of Magical Thinking. See it.
Hap Erstein reviewed for the Palm Beach ArtsPaper (scroll down):
There is no denying the pain that shoots throughout the pages of Joan Didion’s essay on her close encounter with death and dying... How I wish she had left well enough alone, though, and not adapted her prose into a one-woman show. Over the years, I concede that I have developed a knee-jerk aversion to monodramas, with their lack of dramatic context...
...Angie Radosh is a stalwart stand-in for Didion, very restrained and under control, until the tears that she had been fighting all evening do eventually overtake her. But the thought occurs that this non-theatrical monologue, if it has to be recited at all, might as well be done as a radio play, since there is no action implied by Didion’s words.
Well, Hap did say he doesn't like one-person shows. Chacun à son goût.

Brandon K. Thorp reviewed for the Broward/Palm Beach New Times:
Recounting scenes from decades long gone, (playwright Joan Didion) conjures a world of ghosts, speaking in a voice that seems ground down by millennia.

Radosh captures that voice with pure chops, willing herself into old age and timelessness.
Christine Dolen reviewed for the Miami Herald:
Anyone who has lost a loved one will feel sudden deep jolts of connection with The Year of Magical Thinking, writer Joan Didion's now-dramatized memoir about coping with the sudden death of her writer-husband, John Gregory Dunne.
Under Genie Croft's direction, Radosh captures both the literary grace and the reportorial precision of Didion's style.
Navigating a script dense with facts and medical terms, Radosh is always engaging. And when tears at last glisten in her eyes, she shows us that once the numbness wore off and the emotions flowed again, a powerful and insightful woman could begin to heal.
The Year of Magical Thinking plays at The Women's Theatre Project through March 17, 2010.


  1. Joan Didion explains the pain and sadness and how life changed instantly for her after her husband’s death is very well narrated in The Year of Magical Thinking. A very beautiful compilation of emotions.

  2. I saw this show at the Willow Theater at Sugar Sand Park in Boca Raton tonight and it was such an outstanding performance; absolutely riveting.