The Heidi Chronicles | Critical Review by Ray Olson

This literature criticism consists of approximately 2 pages of analysis & critique of The Heidi Chronicles.
This section contains 335 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Review by Ray Olson

SOURCE: A review of The Heidi Chronicles, and Other Plays, in Booklist, Vol. 86, No. 19, June 1, 1990, p. 1872.

In the following review of The Heidi Chronicles, and Other Plays, Olson compares Wasserstein's plays to the work of Mary McCarthy and Philip Barry.

[Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, and Other Plays contains the] 1989 Pulitzer Prize winner and two earlier comic dramas by, if you will, the Baby Boomers' Mary McCarthy. Less acerbic and intellectual, more sentimental and emotional, Wasserstein has the same ambition McCarthy exercised in The Group. She tries to limn a stratum of society consisting for her as for McCarthy of her fellow matriculants of the elite "Seven Sisters" colleges. In Uncommon Women and Others (1977), she actually apes The Group, setting the formative college experiences of a circle of women within the framing device of a reunion. Similarly, The Heidi Chronicles (1988) sandwiches 25 years of its art historian heroine's development, especially her relations with the man who loves her and the other man she loves, between slices of a lecture on women artists. The middle play, Isn't It Romantic? (1983), concerns two young businesswomen's struggles to live up to and give up on their parents' expectations. The focal character in all three is habitually undecided and standoffish but arrives at some self-understanding by the final curtain. All three read more somberly than they play, much like the dramas of Philip Barry (Holiday, The Philadelphia Story), whose peer Wasserstein certainly is.

Michael Coveney on Wasserstein's "yale" Origins and Connections:

Along with fellow playwrights Christopher Durang, Ted Talley and Albert Innaurato, and the producer Rocco Landesman, who runs the powerful Jujamcyn conglomerate of theatres, Wasserstein was one of a remarkable group who graduated from Yale Drama School in the late Seventies. The group were all pupils and friends of the influential critic Robert Brustein, and all believe that serious new work can flourish in the commercial sector.

Michael Coveney, in his "Taking Supper with Hillary," in The Observer, 24 July 1986.

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This section contains 335 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Ray Olson
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