The Other Place opens at Teatro Santa Ana
By Geoff Rose
Photo by Erik Zavala
The critically acclaimed play The Other Place, by Sharr White, opens this Wednesday, October 23, at Teatro Santa Ana. Produced by Stray Dog Presents, directed by Taylor Korobow, with a professional ensemble of actors, The Other Place promises to be the theatrical event of 2013.
The Other Place
Wed, Oct 23 –Sun, Nov 3
Wed–Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm
Teatro Santa Ana
All seats, all performances 150 pesos
Taylor Korobow directs The Other Place
The play is about Juliana Smithton, a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped with a much older man, and her own health is in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface.
When it premiered Off-Broadway in 2011, The Other Place was an immediate hit. It went to Broadway last year and was nominated for several Tony Awards. White describes the show this way: “It’s about the smartest woman on Earth, who discovers that nothing is what she thinks it is. It is a bit of a mystery in the way the play unfolds. It’s a story that’s told very closely through her perspective. It’s really about Juliana being a reliable narrator, and we stay with her as she begins to understand that her world is not what she thinks it is.” The New York Daily News said of the playwright, “He is a crack craftsman who knows how to hook an audience.”
Critics raved about the show. Variety wrote The Other Place is “a haunting drama, so cleverly constructed that the nature and depth of the conflict isn’t revealed until the last shattering scene.”
The Other Place stars Jill Gottlieb as Juliana Smithton in a tour de force performance. Jill is well known to local audiences for the many memorable roles she’s played, including the high strung matriarch Polly in last year’s Stray Dog Presents production of Other Desert Cities. She is supported by three veteran performers – Carrie Haugh from Other Desert Cities, God of Carnage, ‘night Mother and Don’t Dress for Dinner, Michael Gottlieb from, among many others, I Hate Hamlet and It’s a Wonderful Life and Tim Johnson who audiences will remember from Opus and ART.
Taylor Korobow, the creative force behind Stray Dog Presents and director of its productions, along with her partner Joseph Kent, who creates the scenic design, always chooses powerful, taught, crackling drama to vent their theatrical urges. As Taylor says, “The Other Place is a profoundly interesting and complex story about a very successful, professional woman who is convinced she has a brain tumor. It’s a gripping, moving, often funny and very human play brought to life by four marvelous actors. It’s a 70- minute roller-coaster ride. Buckle up.”