Chronicles' remains relevant after 19 years
The Gazette, Oct 26,
When "The Heidi Chronicles" premiered in
1988, Wendy Wasserstein's comic but touching saga of a liberated
woman was immediately recognized for its insight into women's
"I didn't know whether the sacrifices I had
made were worth the road I was taking," the playwright told People
magazine in 1995. "So I decided to write a play about all that."
A lot has changed since then. But Ellen
Hietala, who directs the Star Bar Players' new production, said the
play has aged well.
"If you're 40 or over, you'll get the
references," she said. "Remember 'quality time'? If you're under 40,
you'll think, 'Cool, it's a funny play about interpersonal
Hietala finds all the characters persuasive
-- "Wendy Wasserstein had a nice way of creating characters," she
said -- but reserves her greatest admiration for the title
character, because she never abandons her idealism: The idea that
all people deserve an opportunity to fulfill their potential.
Hietala is also excited about her cast, led
by Alysabeth Clements as Heidi.
"She's almost too pretty for the part, but
she's such a good actress," said Hietala.
Jude Bishop plays Scoop Rosenbaum, the man
Heidi loves -- and who loves her, but who's threatened by the
thought of a wife with a career.
"In rehearsal, Jude keeps saying that Scoop
isn't a jerk," said Hietala. "We tell him that it's important that
he believe that."
Dylan Mosley, who returned from duty in Iraq
a week after rehearsals began, plays Peter, Heidi's other male
"We chose him without an audition, because
he was a such a good match for Jude," said Hietala.
Shannon Walnutt will play Susan, Heidi's
sell-out best friend.
Wasserstein, who died in 2006 at the age of
55, had knack for creating great comic set pieces -- such as this
play' consciousness- raising session Heidi's speech about her aero
bics class epiphany, and a TV appearance by Heidi, Scoop and Peter.
"The humor is wry and dry, said Hietala.
What makes "Heidi Chronicles" more than a
period piece is the fact that its relationship is sues are timeless.
They're set in relief by the play's focus on the American women's
movement but are not dependent on it.
by MARK ARNEST