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The Year of Magical Thinking 

When: Wed., Jan. 9 2013
Price: $25, $20 students, seniors
Didion went through a terrible trauma in the mid-2000s: First her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, keeled over at dinner, the victim of a cardiac failure; then not long after, their only daughter, Quintana, was killed by a mysterious ailment that had her in and out of hospitals. Didion’s one-woman play — based on her best-selling memoir — is about her reaction to the two deaths, the kind of irrational thinking she found herself doing afterward, her desperate attempts to “manage” the unmanageable, and her memories of the husband and daughter she loved. The play is hypnotically honest, and, as performed by Roxanne Fay, intense, searing, chastening. No attempt is made to soften the blows received by the unprepared author; there’s no expedient decision to remember only the good, to turn her attention to new vistas, to find some illusive bright side. There’s only the stunned utterances of the desolated, baffled survivor and her writer’s impulse to examine and commemorate. In her puzzlement and candor she speaks for anyone who’s gone through a similar misfortune. Bob Devin Jones directs the Studio@620 and Dali Museum co-production. (Text by Mark E. Leib) 7 p.m., Jan. 8 and 9, at The Dali Museum, One Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg, 727-823-3767; 7 p.m. Jan. 10-12, 3 p.m. Jan. 13, The Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg, 727-895-6620.

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