Magical Thinking Press

The Kansas City Star:

This production packs a punch. It forces you to consider the transitory nature of human existence, the different faces of love and our smallness in the universe. How many plays can do all that?

The creative team behind this production does a commendable job of bringing a 90-minute monologue to life with one of Kansas City’s classiest actresses, Peggy Friesen. The staging by Michael Grayman is economical and intelligent, and he uses simple but striking lighting effects to divide the piece into coherent chapters.

Friesen excels at articulating the deadpan irony of Didion’s prose and investing the piece with honest poignancy.


With well timed, self-deprecating humor, Friesen floated through the monologue nearly effortlessly, reigning in her emotions where she—or someone less able—could have easily slipped into overwrought melodrama.

As Friesen unloads her story to the audience, seated around the stage in chairs and on couches, the strong impression is that of an old friend reconnecting; hearing her share the last year’s events is sad, but comforting. The slight use of sound design throughout the play helps create a sense of immersion into the places Friesen describes: a bustling emergency room, barely audible as it would seem to one learning her husband is dead; the quiet rushing tide during recollections of the happiest of memories in Malibu. These carefully executed touches don’t distract the audience from Friesen’s cool delivery.