Saturn Returns: Get Out Your Handkerchiefs!

I caught a preview performance yesterday of Noah Haidle’s poignant play Saturn Returns at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater yesterday. I didn’t bring any Kleenex, but I should have.

Directed by Nicholas Martin, Saturn Returns is a triptych of the life of Gustin, a Grand Rapids, Mich., radiologist in 1948, 1978, and 2008, as he experiences his first, second, and third Saturn returns.

Astrology is never mentioned, but the playwright, who appears to be experiencing his own Saturn return, has a keen understanding of the language of loss and loneliness that the planet of restriction speaks so eloquently.

As befitting a play called Saturn Returns, it’s a sparse production, with Gustin at age 88, 58, and 28 played by three actors — John McMartin, James Rebhorn, and Robert Eli, respectively. The women in Gustin’s life are portrayed by the same thespian — the beautiful, versatile Rosie Benton. No other players are on stage and there are no intermissions.

Film buffs may know Rebhorn from his numerous screen and TV roles, including The Talented Mr. Ripley, My Cousin Vinny, and The Scent of a Woman. Throughout his career, Rebhorn has often appeared as the nerd or expert, a guy with a plastic pen holder in the pocket of his starched white shirt. Sure enough, he’s a Virgo born Sept. 1.

I like the fact that Gustin is a radiologist because that embodies the current opposition of Uranus in Pisces and Saturn in Virgo.

I’m no drama critic, but if Saturn Returns is representative of what Haidle is doing at 28, I can only imagine what his future holds. Is he the next Edward Albee? I took a friend who is an accomplished actress, Anney Giobbe, with me and she was also blown away by Haidle’s talent. Like Saturn, Haidle’s not going away.

Hey, this gives me an excuse to reprint my poll, “What Happened During Your Saturn Return?”

What Happened During Your Saturn Return?

O.K., it’s official: Astrology Mundo has poll fever. My maiden effort (What’s Your Sign?) is still open for voting. However, I want to move on to another idea: Saturn Returns, especially since there’s a show at Lincoln Center with the same name.

Just in case you don’t know, your first Saturn return typically occurs around 29, the second around 58, and the third around 87.

As Saturn in Virgo moves to an opposition with Uranus in Pisces that is exact on Election Day, I think using the Web (Uranus) to talk about Saturn returns is a good way to channel the energy of this challenging aspect.

If you don’t see what happened to you in the poll or you’d like to share your Saturn return story, please use the comment form. Thanks, and many happy Saturn returns!

Saturn Returns in the Spotlight


I get lots of astrology-oriented spam, so when I saw an e-mail in my inbox this morning that had “Saturn Returns” as the subject line, I assumed it came from one of the astro Web sites. Wrong! It came from broadwaybox.com, which is offering discounted tickets on a new play at Lincoln Center in New York called Saturn Returns.

Anyone who has made it through his first, second, or third Saturn return, when the Great Taskmaster returns to the place in the sky where he was when we were born, knows it can be dramatic. But who knew it was worthy of a theatrical production?

Lynn Hayes at Beliefnet has a writeup on Noah Haidle, the author of Saturn Returns. . Like me, she couldn’t find a date of birth for the playwright.

I wonder if he’s having his Saturn return. According to various sources on the Web, Haidle is a 2001 graduate of Princeton University. Let’s say he was 21 or 22 when he graduated. That would make him 28 or 29 right now, the age where you experience your first Saturn return.

You can tell by the poster for the play that Saturn returns aren’t a lot of fun.