By Terry Segal / firstname.lastname@example.org
Life doesn’t have to end at the doors of an assisted living facility. That’s the overriding theme among several powerful issues presented in “The Second Time Around,” directed and written by Leon Marr, along with Sherry Soules.
After an injury at the opera, Katherine Mitchell, portrayed by Linda Thorson, is sent to convalesce at a facility, where she meets resident Isaac Shapiro, played by Stuart Margolin.
Thorson and Margolin give stellar performances in the leading roles. They are supported by a fabulous cast of characters who realistically play out the themes of how people choose to age, independence, loss, adjustment to change, and the cultivation of hopes and dreams.
Katherine, a stunning seasoned citizen, has led an insulated and protected life. She is a lover of opera who has memorized the librettos of the classics and expresses her passion through music. By contrast, she has a strained relationship with her daughter, Helen, a career-oriented, no-time-for-mom character who clearly carries relationship wounds from the past.
Helen is exquisitely played by Laura de Carteret, while Alexis Harrison is excellent as Sarah, Katherine’s hipster granddaughter. She bridges the generational gap by listening with her heart to what matters to her grandmother.
Margolin’s brilliant portrayal of Isaac spans a range of emotions he takes to the edge of feelings, leaving us to continue along to the depths. Isaac survived Nazi Germany by becoming a tailor and still sews each afternoon.
As he and Katherine share stories from their past, which includes his stint in Yiddish theater, they bond over their emotional connection to the music that stirs their souls.
Heart-wrenching situations threaten to shatter their new lives and force them, and us, to grapple with emotional decisions we would all prefer to ignore. This situation paves the way toward hope, reignited dreams and the grateful expression of love as it’s experienced the second time around.