Life?
Veronica Decides to Die
Review by Ross Anthony

Veronica Decides to Die Since this is an interesting, unconventional play, I'll oblige myself to write an interesting, unconventional review. Scene 1 opens small and unassuming, getting right to the implication of the title, but not loudly so. Two doctors attend to the comatose Veronika in a far corner of a darkened stage which is silent save for what seems to be recorded murmurs from an actual E.R. The resulting effect echoes the pitiable everdayness of such a happening.

It's a wordy script. Characters ramble on far more than they would in real life. I'm not sure if that's a fault of the adaptation, but it did pose a challenge here that only a few actors were able to meet. That said, “deciding my reality” (as the play themes), I chose to experience the event as if it were a glorified staged reading. Imagining the little speeches as words on a page brought greater value for me. It also helped that I'd read* “The Alchemist,” I arrived ready to jump right into the Paulo Coelho vibe. Still, admittedly, I hadn't come prepared enough for the duration (not sure why, but I'd assumed 70 minutes). In fact, the stage manager informed me to expect a running time of 2 hours 35 minutes, with a 10 minute intermission. Already somewhat concerned over my weekend's tight schedule, this update turned that concern into a mild stress. I took a deep breath (Ross decided to sigh) and let the universe help me figure out my “little problem.”

The first half of Veronika takes place entirely at a mental hospital. Patients, doctors, and the “awakening” Veronika wax philosophic on the definitions of insanity and reality. It's not wildly dramatic or emotive, but it is interesting and quietly, gently, compelling. A sales pitch for Sufism encourages Veronika to stop letting the wants of others stifle her own ambitions. Stated in the positive (and in the general): We should act on our desires – respect our “Real I” and not truncate ourselves in exchange for the feeling of fitting in.” It's an alluring concept. So, to give the play its highest compliment, I can say that it motivated me to get up and leave at intermission, despite my worries of what the crew would say, the actors would feel (if they noticed), my pr contact would think, and of the need to review it respectably. I listened to the play and acted on its message. :)

* Eerily, the same feeling came over me while reading “The Alchemist.” After enjoying it to the three-quarters mark, I was called to not completely finish it. It had nothing to do with the quality of the work or my own time constraints.

-- Books by Ross Anthony, Author/Illustrator --


  • Veronica Decides to Die. Copyright © 2011.
  • Based on the April 23rd performance at Eclectic Company Theatre. Based on the book by Paulo Coelho. Adapted for the stage by Taylor Ashbrook and Beth Ricketson. Directed by Taylor Ashbrook. Starring Beth Ricketson, Dana Amromin, Mark Bate, Niki Blumberg, Dean Farell Bruggeman, Cindy Clark, Meghan McConnell, Wendy Radford, Jonathon Trent, DeAnn Trimarchi, Alexx Van Dyne, Parker Wright.

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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Monday, 25-Apr-2011 18:55:47 PDT