The Year of Magical Thinking

by DICK KEREKES AND LEISLA SANSOM
Theatre Jacksonville’s Guerilla Show Series is a supplement to their regular season’s lineup and is usually presented twice each season during a weekend between their main stage shows.
On January 17 and 18, Theatre Jacksonville will present The Year of Magical Thinking, a highly acclaimed and award-winning one-person show by Joan Didion. Coming to Jacksonville to perform is Broadway actress, film, and television star Linda Purl. Ms. Purl may be a familiar face to you if you are a television fan, having appeared in Matlock, HBO’s True Blood, and the CBS show Reckless, as well as The Office and Homeland.
The Dual Critics recall seeing Ms. Purl previously in Dinner with Friends, at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville; the play received a Pulitzer Prize.
In April of 2013, Ms. Purl performed The Year of Magical Thinking at the Ensemble Theatre in Los Angeles, to rave reviews. As critics, we have seen this wonderful play and found it thought-provoking and moving. It is the story of playwright Didion unexpectedly losing her husband, novelist John Gregory Dunne, to a heart attack and her daughter, Quintana, to pancreatitis within a period of two years. The play is based on her bestselling book of the same name. The first act closely follows the book, while the second is devoted to the memory of her daughter, who was 39 at the time of her death.
Many of us have lost parents, spouses, and children and have gone through the process of coping with grief while trying to readjust our lives. During the course of the play, Ms. Didion shares her story and her insights on coping, which Ms. Purl presents masterfully.
This performance is not to be missed. It will be at Theatre Jacksonville in San Marco on January 17 at 8 pm and January 18 at 2 pm and 8 pm. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $15 for Theatre Jacksonville subscribers, and $10 for students. See theatrejax.com for additional information; call 396-4426 for reservations.

About FOLIO