The Sisters Rosensweig | Critical Review by Michael Coveney

This literature criticism consists of approximately 2 pages of analysis & critique of The Sisters Rosensweig.
This section contains 312 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Review by Michael Coveney

SOURCE: A review of The Sisters Rosensweig, in The Observer, August 14, 1994, p. 11.

In the following review, Coveney offers a mixed assessment of a London production of The Sisters Rosensweig, but praises Wasserstein for her "clever mix of emotional comedy and old-fashioned Broadway wise-cracking."

Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosensweig is a well-wrought comedy about growing older without sex and learning to live with your family. Some folks around me were not sure about 'schtupping' but they soon caught on; we've all seen She Schtups to Conquer, after all, and that's how Sara Goode (Janet Suzman) proceeds with her fake furrier (Larry Lamb), 'the furrier who came to dinner.'

As an American comedy set in London, the play's jaundiced squint at Jewish displacement in middle-class life was always deliberate: the idea of withering roots and values is absorbed in a comfortable, creamy Holland Park apartment, enticingly well designed by Lez Brotherston. And Suzman's tense and throatily intoned Sara is easily the match of Jane Alexander's in New York; Sara, the twice-divorced European head of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, celebrates her 54th birthday in September 1991 and provides a gloriously irrelevant social flashpoint while Russia crumbles and Lithuania declares its independence.

Wasserstein's confection, with its nods towards Chekhov, Moss Hart and George S Kaufman, is a clever mix of emotional comedy and old-fashioned Broadway wisecracking. Lynda Bellingham is fine as the younger, journalist sister. But Maureen Lipman spoils a winning performance as the daffy sibling by coarse clowning. On Broadway, when Madeline Khan tried on her surprise gift of a pink Chanel suit, she was both touching and hilarious as she inquired, 'Do I look like Catherine Denoove?' Ms Lipman crashes around with a lampshade on her head and asks, without the slightest hope of a positive reply, 'Do I look like Audrey Hepburn?' Michael Blakemore's direction is otherwise impeccable.

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This section contains 312 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Michael Coveney