Linda Purl to Star in The Year of Magical Thinking at Laguna Playhouse

Sep 25, 2014
The Year of Magical Thinking

The Laguna Playhouse Executive and Artistic Directors, Karen Wood and Ann E. Wareham are thrilled to present the second show of their 2014-2015 season, THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING by Joan Didion and directed by Jenny Sullivan (Steel Magnolias). "To have Linda Purl on our stage with one of the more powerful pieces of theatre I have come across is just a triumph that our audiences and subscribers are going to treasure," offers Wood. "Jenny Sullivan is quite simply one of our best theatre directors working today and to have her bring her magic touch to the powerful words of Joan Didion is simply a dream realized," adds Wareham.
THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING will begin previews on Wednesday, October 8 and will open on Saturday, October 11 at 7:30pm and run through Sunday, November 2, 2014 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. Based on Joan Didion's National Book Award winning memoir, THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING is a remarkable story of journey, loss and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. This play is a tribute to an extraordinary marriage and a love letter to Didion's daughter. ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST LINDA PURL currently recurring on Reckless for CBS has had recent recurring roles on the television series: True Blood, The Office as Helene Beasley and the Golden Globe Award winning series Homeland, as Elizabeth Gaines. She has starred in over 40 made-for-TV movies, and is especially known for her series roles as Charlene Matlock on Matlock and Ashley Pfister, Fonzie's fiancee, on Happy Days.

She appeared on Broadway in Tony nominated The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Getting and Spending; and Off-Broadway in The Baby Dance and Hallelujah, Hallelujah! Regional theatre credits include Romeo and Juliet, Juliet; The Little Foxes, Regina; The Merchant of Venice, Portia, A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche; Hippolytus, Phaedra; A Glass Menagerie, Amanda; Nora, Nora with Michael York; original production of the Pulitzer Prize winning play Dinner with Friends; Beyond Therapy, Prudence; The Road to Mecca with Miss Julie Harris; Grease, Sandy; On a Clear Day You Can See Forever; The King and I, Oliver; A Doll's House, Nora; The Year of Magical Thinking, at such theaters as Long Wharf, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Santa Fe Opera, Cleveland Playhouse, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Rubicon Theatre Company, Berkeley Rep, six seasons at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Princess Grace Theatre in Monaco, Imperial Theatre, Tokyo, Japan. As a film actress, she has appeared in Disney's Mighty Joe Young.

Born in Connecticut, Purl grew up in Japan, becoming the only foreigner to have trained at the Toho Geino Academy. Her studies continued at LAMDA, Neighborhood Playhouse and Lee Strasberg Institute. She is Founding Director of the California International Theatre Festival. Purl currently tours with her solo concert Midnight Caravan - Celebrating the Great Ladies of the Glamorous Nightclub Era. Her recordings include the solo albums Alone Together, Out of this World and Midnight Caravan. JENNY SULLIVAN (Director) Laguna Playhouse: Steel Magnolias. Rubicon Theatre: Our Town; The Mystery of Irma Vep (5 Ovation Nominations, including Best Direction-2012); Steel Magnolias (Indie Award); Nazi Hunter-Simon Wiesenthal; Tea at Five with Stephanie Zimbalist; Doubt; Trying; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Indie Award) with Joe Spano and Karyl Lynn Burns; Spit Like A Big Girl; You Can't Take It With You; One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest; Hamlet (Indie Award) with Joseph Fuqua; Tuesdays with Morrie with Harold Gould; Defying Gravity; Happy Days; Art; Dancing at Lughnasa (Indie Award); The Rainmaker; Little Foxes; Love Letters with Jack Lemmon and Felicia Farr; Old Wicked Songs with Harold Gould. Manitoba Theatre Centre: The Dresser with Len Cariou and Granville Van Dusen; Ensemble Theatre of Santa Barbara: The Year of Magical Thinking with Linda Purl; The Lion in Winter (Indie Award); The Mystery of Irma Vep; Tea At Five with Stephanie Zimbalist; The Clean House (Indie Award); Dublin Carol and The Memory of Water. Some other theaters: World premiere of Food Confessions for Lobero Theatre of SB;Nazi Hunter-Simon Wiesenthal for Theatre 40 (Ovation Nomination for Best Direction-2011); The Elephant Man for San Jose Rep; West Coast premiere of Jane Martin's Flags; Death of a Salesman with Stuart Margolin at AUM; The Falcon Theatre: The Memoirs of Abraham Lincoln with Granville Van Dusen and Tea at Five with Stephanie Zimbalist; Bicoastal Woman for Pasadena Playhouse and numerous radio plays for L.A.
Theatre Works. Jenny was director of the Geffen Playhouse production of Nora and Delia Ephron's Love, Loss and What I Wore and the long running Los Angeles Canon Theatre production of The Vagina Monologues; Her world premiere of Jane Anderson's The Baby Dance began at Pasadena Playhouse and then moved to Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre (CT Critics' Directing Award) and the Lucille Lortel Theatre Off-Broadway. Six seasons at Williamstown: MACS (A Macaroni Requiem), Defying Gravity, Hotel Oubliette, Dirt and The Ferry Back. Film credits: Access All Areas and The Next Best Thing (in which she had the good fortune to direct her father Barry). Jenny is most proud of the world premiere of her play J for J with Jeff Kober and the late great John Ritter.

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING - Scenic and Lighting Design is by Francois- Pierre Couture. ABOUT THE SCHEDULE AND PRICING THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING will begin previews on Wednesday, October 8 and will open on Saturday, October 11 at 7:30pm and run through Sunday, November 2, 2014 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. Performances will be Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sundays at 1:00pm & 5:30pm. There will be additional performances on Thursday, October 9 at 2pm & Thursday, October 30 at 2pm and no performance on Saturday, October 11 at 2:00pm and Sunday, November 2 at 5:30pm. Tickets range from $36 - $61 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229. The box office is open Mondays - Sundays: 12p.m. to 5 p.m. (open until 7:30pm on performance days). For more information on all shows and programming visit LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.