Wow!! Now I know what unconditional love from an audience is all about. I honestly think I have had one of the best and one of the most challenging roles in my entire acting career.. I was lucky enough to do the role of Claudia in Tom Topor�s play Nuts.

Do you remember the movie with Streisand and Dreyfyuss??? A call girl on trial for her sanity for murdering one of her Johns. Always thought that was one of Streisand�s most brilliant performances. Now the play: It�s a three act --two intermission courtroom drama--and a tough hill to climb but I climbed it.

The Stage @ Thank You Five, known for producing cutting-edge theater was quite courageous to put this on because my character lets it all out and I am not talking about cursing I am talking about explaining what I do as a call girl in explicit terms as I am being grilled by the prosecuting attorney. Not to mention a stepfather who treated me as his own personal Lolita.

Yes, heavy duty and until we did it in front of an audience I as well as the other actors didn�t realize the humor in some of the dialogue and physical actions that the audiences completely and I mean completely embraced. I actually forgot about the audience once I hit the stage except for a moment on opening night.



Um... two friends of mine, a husband and wife, traveled a great distance to come and see me in this play. "The wife" had been having trouble with her phone and was not able to shut it off. Why she did not leave it in their car I will never know. And where were they???? Where were they???? ...Right in the front row, almost aligned with where I was sitting in my defense chair. So it went--and faster than a speeding bullet her husband flew past her, past my eyes, past the entire audience with her pocketbook in hand and out the theater door.

From then on our director Robert Dimsey who personally introduced each performance and stayed thru each performance ALWAYS mentioned the importance about turning off one�s phone.

David Goldstone, Robert B. Siegel, Patrick Forestell, Terence Van Auken

I would like to say that I never would have been able to reach the level of performance that I did without the guidance of our director. He personally rehearsed each and every one of us and with great detail. I loved this role. I couldn�t imagine anyone loving it more. But our director, Robert Dimsey loved it even more than I. He made me realize the "warrior" in her. Her fight. Her determination. Her high angst.

All I can say it was like Anita Hill facing all those male members of the court when she went up against Clarence Thomas and Dr. Christine Ford when she went up against mainly all those male egos against Kavanaugh. Except like Anita their were no tears shed by me. I was out to fight this out. 


After the opening night, I walked back into the green room. Our director was standing there, very tall and broad-shouldered. I just walked right up to his chest and put my head down on it. He said "Exhausted?" I could only nod. During rehearsals he said that my testimony at the end should have me exhausted as I plead for my sanity. I guess I got it.


Gary Norris portrayed my father in a gut wrenching performance. 

Davod Goldstone perfectly cast as my attorney
in the role Richard Dreyfuss did In the movie.


The actors that were on this ride with me came from all parts of Florida. And sometimes we had unbelievable downpours. It was during the "hurricane season" which runs for months and months in Florida.

I believed the actors portraying each role WERE these roles by the time show-time rolled around. Gary Norris as my Stepfather was incredible and raw. 


Patrick Forestell as the psychiatrist at Belleview--yes that was where the trial takes place in a courtroom on the 7th floor at the famous Belleview Hospital (yes, their is actually one there) was so convincing as the bit off-center psychiatrist on a vengeful conquest to keep me sedated and under lock and key. My Richard Dreyfuss, the actor David Goldstone made me feel so protected. We shared so many major moments onstage--we connected so beautifully with ourselves and with our audience.

Lynda Bonnick as my mother tugged at every heartstring I had and I truly believed her characterization to the fullest. Robert B. Siegel as the Judge showed the humor and pathos that came with the role and Terence Van Auken as the relentless prosecutor could not have done it better if he had gone to law school.


We didn�t have reviewers but I have never had an audience rise to their feet as one nor see the other actors applauding my entrance for my curtain call, but their it was--I will never forget how it all felt.

They have a policy at this theater where everyone gets to shake the hands of the cast members who are lined up for those that wish to pass thru. I NEVER come out...EVER... but I knew a lot of people came from far away to see me so there I was...and it was wonderful to see how some were crying, some wanted to hug me, some could not express how much this play and my role meant to them.

Terence Van Auken, Robert B. Siegel, Patrick Forestell, Maia Goldstone

I found out this is the first time that this theater has ever sold out their entire production. I was thrilled. They were thrilled. We were all thrilled. Nope no reviewers but the personal reviews meant everything including this that was sent to the theater.

I want to close with a letter the theater got. I think it says it all....

From: the STAGE at thank you five:

To the whole team, I was completely awed by the great performance and message of NUTS last night. It was one of the best that you have put on. All the performers were tops. And the lead lady was ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL!!! So believable!  Well done!!!

         Professor Emeritus
         Robert O. Barker Esq
         Florida Supreme Court
         Certified Mediator
         7th Circuit District



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