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Soft Landing Blasts Off at Teatro Santa Ana

By Lola Smith

Soft Landing Graphic

Players Workshop and Stuffed Olive, Inc. join for their third collaboration in three years with the World Premiere of Soft Landing, a new play by two-time Emmy Award-winner Dorothy Lyman, directed by Tony Award-nominated Broadway director John Tillinger.

Joyce (Linda Carlson) and Siobhan (Clara Dunham) want to go to the moon. They’re old; they’ve earned it. They’ve bought their tickets from SpaceX. The launch date is next year. Their only mistake is telling Joyce’s kids, Jane and Dan (Jill and Michael Gottlieb) about their travel plans. Now the family fortune is at stake. Can the kids stop the two old friends from spending their inheritance? The adult grandchildren (Brennan Lowery and Jeanne Lauren Smith) are summoned to help persuade their grandma not to go. Will they side against their mother? Soft Landing is a humorous look at family dynamics, love, and the dreams that drive us.

Leading our distinguished cast is well-known TV, film, and stage-actress Linda Carlson. Ms. Carlson appeared in the feature films The Pickle (directed by Paul Mazursky), The Beverly Hillbillies, and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. On TV, she was a series regular on Murder One, Kaz, and Westside Medical and appeared recurrently on Newhart, NYPD Blue, and Clueless. New York actress Jeanne Lauren Smith, who astonished us in last year’s sizzling A Rage in Tenure, joins our cast, along with New York actor Brennan Lowery, who has appeared twice with us, as Spike in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (VSMS) and two years ago in Enemy. The three imported professionals are joined by three of SMA’s most sought after and popular actors. Clara Dunham, seen most recently in The 39 Steps and as Sonia in VSMS, plays opposite Ms. Carlson as one of our would-be astronauts; and local theater royalty, the Gottliebs, round out our cast as the gobsmacked middle-aged kids trying to process their mom’s moon launch.

As with Linda Carlson, our distinguished playwright Dorothy Lyman and director John Tillinger have resumes and a life together, apart, and together that are worthy of stand-alone articles. And next week we’ll focus in-depth on them.

In the meantime, I asked Players Workshop president Michael Gottlieb what makes working with Dorothy Lyman for the third straight year so special. “Well, it’s Dorothy, of course. She’s a creative force of nature; a brilliant writer, director, and actress with success in “show business” most artists can only dream of. And this year she’s bringing multiple forces of nature with her with Joey (John Tillinger) and Linda. And then there’s “the kids,” as Dorothy and I refer to them, Brennan and Jeanne, coming to work again and adding so much talent and energy. And to top that, there’s Clara and Jill who are just superb. So yes, together we’ve done the world premiere of Enemy, a new adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People; last year’s almost world-premiere of Dorothy’s very powerful feminist play, A Rage in Tenure; and now her newest effort, this sweet and caring play about taking off and landing softly. She’s my hero, friend, and inspiration. As are you, Lola.”

Information and advance online tickets are available at Tickets also available at Teatro Santa Ana Reloj 25A, M–F, 10am–2pm.

Writer Lola Smith is the doyen of San Miguel Theater and President Emeritus of Players Workshop.


Soft Landing

Feb 14–17, 7pm

Feb 21–24, 7pm

Matinees: Sun, Feb 18, Feb 25, 3pm

Teatro Santa Ana

Reloj 25A

$12.50 online/250 pesos at the box office


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