Review of “The Road Back”
by Dan Hess
Adina Taubman is a playwright, actor, and wonderful human being. She is an activist. An accomplished horseback rider. A wife and mother of two.
Adina lives with a mood disorder.
In her extraordinary solo show The Road Back, she pulls no punches in chronicling her yearlong slide into depression more than a decade ago. From the family drama that pulled her into it, to her time in hospitals trying one medication after another, to finally finding one that worked and finding a support group, she lays it all out in front of us.
When I saw an earlier version of this play a couple of years ago, I left the theater dazzled that my kind, consistent, laid back friend was A) a phenomenally talented writer, actor, and performer, capable of extraordinary highs and lows, and also very very funny, and B) went through a devastating year of hospitals, trial and error, and medication.
The rawness of her reenactment was so profound, I left both in deep admiration, and wondering how she was going to change the play in the future.
Adina has filled in the story: how a family crisis gradually sent her into a tailspin, how her husband and others saw it happening before she did, and how she was forced to accept treatment, or else. She and her creative team have also beautifully mixed in lighting and sound effects to become a second character in the play.
Adina is exceptional at dramatizing her moods, including making characters out of her anxiety, and, hilariously, out of the various medications she tried.
She has brought her story to life, including the important piece of landing at a support group, MDSG-NY. She went from bouncing to one group to another, to finding her room with the unipolar group, the one she resonated with. Ultimately she became a facilitator, and is still thriving with the organization.
This is a beautifully crafted story from beginning to middle to end.
There are a few more shows left if you want to join her for the ride.