Sandra, by David Cale

At TheaterWorks in Hartford

By: - Jun 19, 2024

Your gay friend goes to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and then you don’t hear from him for weeks.

Sandra, the owner of a coffee house/café in New York City, can’t stop thinking about Ethan, her best friend after she receives a phone call: someone needs to get in touch with him, but can’t. She’s listed as his emergency contact.

What has happened to him? Murder, Abduction, Suicide? Or something else?

When she reports him missing, detectives interview her and raise various possibilities. After all, Ethan, a composer/pianist, has had a hard life – disowned by his family when he came out, he lived on the streets doing what was necessary to survive. But he’s been sober for nine years. When detectives make little progress in finding him, she flies there to look for him herself.

This sets off a chain of events that will keep you totally engrossed.

Sandra, by David Cale, is a one-woman show now at TheaterWorks in Hartford through Thursday, June 27.

Felicia Curry is compelling as Sandra and the other characters that she encounters including the mysterious Luca Messina.

In Mexico, she identifies some clues — a young man with very long blond hair, other missing American gay men, and Luca. Later, she learns about messages retrieved from the sea in bottles and discovers the writing is Ethan’s.  Soon, her search is complicated by a love affair with Luca; she returns several times, ostensibly to continue the search but really to see him.

Ethan hasn’t helped matters; his last conversation with Sandra before he left could be interpreted in several ways. He said, “I feel like disappearing from my life. Part of me just isn’t in the world.” He added, “But you and I are so simpatico if I vanish, you’d probably disappear from your life too.”

Playwright David Cale has woven a tight plot that provides enough questions, clues, and red herrings to keep you wondering what happened. Just when you develop a theory, something happens to make you rethink it.

Cale has created vivid characters, beginning with Sandra. Curry brings each of them to life, from the café manager, Sara, with a terrific New York accent, to Beauford—the elderly “southern” gentleman who was with the long-haired young man—to Luca and his Italian accent, and others. Each is vividly brought to life.

This has allowed Cale to avoid a problem for many one-person plays: too much narration and not enough showing. We even forget at times that only Curry is actually on stage.

But like any good thriller/mystery, we are still unsure at the end. You will leave the theater not only remembering those early lines of Ethan’s but also wondering what really happened.

Director Jared Mezzocchi has kept the pace moving; if there are inconsistencies, you don’t realize it. He is aided by the lighting by Amith Chandrashaker and Alex Fetchko and the sound design by Evdoxia Ragkou. Both the lighting and the sound set the multiple scenes and places for us with minimal change in props or sets.

He stated that he used technology – lighting, sound, and visuals to make Sandra’s journey feel in real-time. He equates the sounds and visuals to a second character in the show. Camilla Tassi’s work providing the video designs truly do make a major contribution to our involvement with the story.

For tickets to Sandra, visit

This content is courtesy of Shore Publications and