Anyone who has gone to a good theater production knows that the stage contains a magic of its own. I'm not necessarily talking about just Broadway shows or those on London's West End, although these often do contain magic. No, I'm talking about any production that takes on a life of its own, where the script is just the beginning, and where the members of the audience become active players in the drama. It can happen anywhere, from New York to New Prague, from Tony-winning shows to those performed by grade school children. There is something about the stage, the lights, the curtain, the costumes and makeup, and most importantly, the idea of make-believe that has the potential to imbue any theatrical production with magic.
Which is why Barbara Ashford's novel Spellcast makes so much sense. Spellcast tells the story of Maggie Graham, a thirty-something who loses her job at the beginning of the novel and decides to head to Vermont to figure out what to do with her life. As she's driving she is inexplicably drawn to a small town called Dale, and once she's there, she finds herself auditioning for a summer theater company. She gets parts in all three of that summer's productions--Brigadoon, a new play entitled The Sea-Wife, and Carousel--and soon finds herself immersed in a world that seems a bit too good to be real.