September 21, 2012


Donald Sage Mackay and Henny Russell. Photo: Jennifer Reiley


Juliana is a woman who is charming – but alarming. She has a dry humor. But it is hard to tell if she is a compassionate person deep inside or just someone who is on the edge of a cliff. I’ll say that she is probably more on the wacky side.

Juliana is going to visit a Doctor, one that she never met before. Right off the Bat, she takes over the room. Juliana does not like to be questioned. No, she is more of the talker – and she wants you to listen.

Dr. Teller wants to know more about Juliana. The Dr. asks her patient about the divorce. “That’s a recent development isn’t it?” Juliana glares at the Doc and says: “is this a personal question?” Well, yes and no – Juliana is like a slippery snake that can wiggle around anything.

Throughout this treacherous conversation with the Doctor – Juliana drags her ex-husband into the fray. The dramatic moments are explosive. It is beginning to bring out what is really wrong with Juliana. Now, if I were a Doctor – I would say that she definitely has signs of dementia.

She wanders into a former home on the Ocean. Sure, she lived there once, but Juliana thinks that it is still her home. Of course, the girl that now owns the house has to go along with the pretense until Juliana’s ex-husband finds out where she is – and what can be done with her mental condition.

Juliana is bombastic. One minute she is as sweet as pumpkin pie – the next moment she would just as soon, slap your face over and over again.

In this amazing story Juliana goes from being a bright scientist to a total nut case. We, the audience might as well be on the edge of Niagara Falls. This story is like watching an Egyptian paradise falling into rubble.

This is not a charming story that is hard to resist. And, it’s not sweet and intimate. No, that it is not. However, it is a strong story that brings out tragedy in life’s daily chemistry between an ex-husband and his wife. He knows that his wife’s head is in turmoil. And he also knows that there is a gusher coming to ‘The Other Place’, and it is very soon. 

I’ll tell you this – “You won’t feel like you’re on vacation!” No, No, No - that is not going to happen!

HERE’S THE EXCEPTIONAL CAST: Ian – Donald Sage Mackay* The Woman - Carrie Paff* Juliana – Henny Russell* The Man – Patrick Russell*

Written by the amazing Sharr White. Directed by the fantastic Loretta Greco.

RATING: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! (highest rating) –trademarked-

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))


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