Redgrave Recalls The Year of Magical Thinking in Manhattan Oct. 26

By Adam Hetrick
October 26, 2009

Tony-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave reprises her performance in Joan Didion's solo work The Year of Magical Thinking at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine Oct. 26.

Presented as benefit for UNICEF, Broadway director David Hare again stages the 8 PM event. The performance was originally scheduled in March of 2009, but was postponed due to the loss of Redgrave's daughter, actress Natasha Richardson.

Adapted from Didion's best-selling memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking paints a vivid and heartfelt picture of a family dissolving while Didion struggles to maintain security through her grief and memories. Didion relives the death of her husband of 40 years, writer John Gregory Dunne, as the couple sat down for dinner in their New York City apartment.

Complicated by Didion's ailing comatose daughter, Quintana, who Didion would also lose, the events of one night and the year that followed are recounted in a candid and intimate manner during the 90-minute work.

The Year of Magical Thinking played a limited 24-week Broadway run at the Booth Theatre in 2007 and later, a 2008 run at the National Theatre in London.

Vanessa Redgrave was Tony nominated for her portrayal of Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking, she won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. Redgrave is a Tony winner for her performance of matriarch Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey Into Night, and earned an Oscar for her performance the film "Julia."

"The Year of Magical Thinking" proves to be Didion's best-selling work to date, with over 600,000 copies sold. Among her canon of works are: "Slouching Towards Bethlehem," "Where I Was From," "A Book of Common Prayer," and "Play It As It Lays." Didion collaborated with her late husband, John Dunne, on the screenplays for "Play It As It Lays," "True Confessions," "Up Close & Personal" as well as "A Star Is Born" with Barbra Streisand. The Year of Magical Thinking marks Didion's debut as a playwright.

Tickets to the performance, ranging $45-$150, are available by phoning (866) 811-4111, or by visiting OvationTix.

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is located at 1047 Amsterdam Ave at 112th and Amsterdam.