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BWW Feature: THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING starring Linda Purl to be presented online July 29-Aug. 2

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BWW Feature: THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING starring Linda Purl to be presented online July 29-Aug. 2

Linda Purl is a versatile performer, whether acting on stage both on and off-Broadway, starring in iconic television series, appearing in movies, singing her heart out to audiences, and recording beloved tunes. But with the entertainment industry hit hard by the pandemic, Linda is giving back. ShowTix4U will be streaming Joan Didion's powerful one-woman play The Year of Magical Thinking with Linda reprising the role to benefit The Actors Fund available to view online from July 29 to Aug. 2.

"Joan Didion is an extraordinary writer, one of the greatest, I believe," says Linda. "Her play is based on her book, and the genesis of both the book and the play was the tragic loss of her husband and her subsequent deep forensic dive into the mechanics of grief and indeed the journey out of it."

The book was a big success, landing on the New York Times bestseller list and becoming a finalist for the National Book Critics Awards Circle and Pulitzer Prize. Academy Award winner and producer Scott Rudin then approached Joan about turning her book into a one-woman show. Vanessa Redgrave originated the role with performances on Broadway and the West End. Linda performed the role in its West Coast premiere and has since performed the role in 13 different venues across the country.

One of the venues where she performed, the North Coast Repertory Theater in Solana Beach, California, approached Linda about reprising her role on video for online viewing.

"They offered to do the editing, adding the music and make it a polished performance. We are also thrilled that the license holders of the play and book have given their permission. The Year of Magical Thinking will be releasing the audio version of the book soon. We are only allowed to see 2,500 tickets with limited dates. They are also giving back and so kind to let us create this show as a benefit."

"I shot it with my iPhone duct-taped to the ladder and talked for an hour and 40 minutes," she laughs. As a member of Actors Equity and following its COVID regulations, the performance had to be shot in her home.

The cost of a ticket is $20 (with additional donations accepted), and it will be broadcast to a television, computer screen or device. This means several people (socially distancing, of course) can enjoy the performance for the price of one ticket and help The Actors Fund.

The Actors Fund was founded in 1882 to meet the needs of the entertainment community, including emergency financial assistance, affordable housing, health care, insurance counseling, senior care, and secondary career development. Visit actorsfund.org to learn more.

BWW Feature: THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING starring Linda Purl to be presented online July 29-Aug. 2
Photo by Kevin Alvery

She recently released her newest CD, Taking a Chance On Love, with music director Tedd Firth. Available on her website, Amazon, and iTunes, she donated the first month's proceeds from the sale of the CD to Music Cares. Proceeds from sales for the next six weeks will be donated to The Actors Fund.

"This is my third CD working with Tedd Firth, and he is just a genius. He works with so many talented people, and this is a major blessing in my life to have him as my musical director," she says.

Each of Linda's CDs has a theme and can take up to a year to produce. With the turmoil and transition of the past months, she started thinking about changing one's life using thought and dreaming as a starting point. Linda explores visualization and making it a reality in her music on this CD.

"All of the songs explore questions like how do you define a dream, what if you have the wrong dream, and what happens if your dreams crash and burn? All of the songs are part of that theme like 'Try Your Wings,' a mashup of 'Never Never Land,' and 'I Have Dreamed.' First, we put it together and performed it as a show, which was such a treat. We then went into the studio to record it. Every recording is such a learning experience for me," Linda explains.

Linda appeared on Happy Days, the first season of Matlock, The Office, and the movie Visiting Hours. On Broadway, she performed in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Getting and Spending and off Broadway in The Baby Dance. Linda has toured and performed across the country and around the world in plays and concerts. Her other three CDs include Alone Together, Out of this World-Live Midnight Caravan, and Up Jumped Spring.

"In this moment of COVID, our lives are probably more quiet than usual. However, many people are also dealing with hardships. I am hoping that we can find the time for reflection, and that a lot of good will come out of these trying times."

Only 2,500 tickets will be available for the ShowTix 4 U streaming performance of Joan Didion's one-woman play The Year of Magical Thinking with Linda reprising her role online to benefit The Actors Fund from July 29 to Aug. 2. Only one ticket is needed to view on television, a computer or device so a group of people (social distancing) can enjoy it together. For tickets, click here.


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