March 04, 2007

I've said it before: Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking" is a great book and an even better (I think) audio book. It is now also the subject of a play. Here Didion writes about what it feels like to see her words - not herself - come to life on a stage:

I have been asked if I do not find it strange that Vanessa Redgrave is playing me. I explain: Vanessa Redgrave is not playing me, Vanessa Redgrave is playing a character who, for the sake of clarity, is called Joan Didion. [...]

Plays find their own shape. A few words cut or added can radically change that shape. This thing we have been making in the studio on West 42nd Street is still finding itself. Every day now we see a color we did not see before. We now have only a few more days of rehearsal and three weeks of previews. Yes. It scares me. Yes. Some days I think it’s working and other days I think it’s not. But I remember a February evening when Vanessa went to see the dressing rooms at the Booth.

Like a mermaid sensing water, she moved to the stage.

She began saying the play.

There it was: Vanessa Redgrave was standing on a stage in an empty theater and she was telling me a story I was hearing for the first time.

The play will open in Booth Theater on March 6 and will run until June 30. How I hope I can see it!

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