Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Heidi Chronicles

Wendy Wasserstein certainly had something to say.  An now her bold play is back on Broadway to the delight of feminists everywhere.  There's a sense that it is just as timely as ever.  Others think it's a tired episode re-hashed on stage that needs to be made current.  Heidi is not a technology genius.  She's not a power-hungry executive of 2006.  What she is is a feminist and what Ms. Wasserstein does so brilliantly and powerfully is to showcase a proud and true woman in her journey through the years.  What someone needs to have done, however, is to shorten the play.  Heidi and her companions always grade things.  Here i find it an A+ for effort, C- for brevity and content.

Elisabeth Moss (Heidi Holland) was an interesting choice for Heidi.  Not quite as dynamic as I would have expected her to be.  Kind of a doormat.  Moments of brilliant acting interlaid with a lot of hum-drum. Jason Biggs (Scoop Rosenbaum) is the dashingly successful boy she never married.  He's dashing alright.  But more of the hum-drum thing going on.  The bright spots in this production are Bryce Pinkham (Peter Patrone) as her gay foil for life and Tracee Chimo (Fran, Molly, Betsy, and April) as a multitude of funny, biting, bold, and hysterical characters that pass through Heidi's life.

The design of the set  (John Lee Beatty) is clever - a rotating platform that transforms the stage over the decades - sort of an homage to as time spins on and on.  By the size of the audience at the performance I attended the show is off to a slow start - which is surprising with the high profile names attached to the show.  Despite being too long, this show achieves a passing grade, it's just felt it's not quite as powerful or succinct as it could be.