See What the Critics Said About Kathleen Turner’s Year of Magical Thinking

News   See What the Critics Said About Kathleen Turner’s Year of Magical Thinking
The solo show is currently playing Arena Stage.
Kathleen Turner in The Year of Magical Thinking
Kathleen Turner in The Year of Magical Thinking Photo by C. Stanley Photography

Academy Award and Tony Award nominee Kathleen Turner has returned to Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater to star in Joan Didion’s one-woman drama, The Year of Magical Thinking, adapted from Didion’s 2005 best-selling memoir of the same title.

Turner, who previously appeared in Arena Stage’s Mother Courage and Her Children and Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, portrays the writer in Didion’s examination of grief. Gaye Taylor Upchurch directs.

Performances continue through November 20 in the 200-seat Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle.

Critics are filing their reviews. will update this list as more are posted:

DC Metro Theater Arts (Amy Kotkin)

DC Theatre Scene (Marshall Bradshaw)

Washington City Paper (Amy Lyons)

In the solo play, according to production notes, “Didion chronicles the sudden death of her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, and illness of her only daughter. Her first-person account weaves together an intensely personal yet universal story of hope in the face of inescapable loss.”

The Year of Magical Thinking is a powerful play,” artistic director Molly Smith said in an earlier statement. “Joan Didion was confronted with extreme personal loss and has bravely shared her story. Our production stars Kathleen, who intimately understands this story and will take the audience gently by the hand as she navigates this story of grief and transition. She is a superb actor and I know her performance will be unforgettable.”

The creative team includes set designer Daniel Zimmerman, costume designer Kathleen Geldard, lighting designer Jesse Belsky, original music and sound designer Roc Lee, stage manager Kurt Hall, and assistant stage manager Emily Mellon.

Vanessa Redgrave debuted the solo play on Broadway in 2007.

Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at (202) 488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth St., SW, D.C.

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