Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Wendy Wasserstein

Sad news today. Wendy Wasserstein died yesterday, of lymphoma, at the much too young age of 55. The New York Times article is very good in reviewing and assessing both her talent and her impact. A small sample:

Ms. Wasserstein's abundant gift for comedy and her plays' popularity disguised the more serious ambitions underpinning her writing. "My work is often thought of as lightweight commercial comedy," she told The Paris Review in 1997, "and I have always thought, No, you don't understand: this is in fact a political act. 'The Sisters Rosensweig' had the largest advance in Broadway history," for a play (not a musical). Therefore, she continued, "nobody is going to turn down a play on Broadway because a woman wrote it or because it's about women." When Ms. Wasserstein won the best-play Tony for "Heidi Chronicles," it was the first time a woman had won the prize solo.

10 comments:

Virgo Sis said...

The PBS version of "Uncommon Women and Others" was my anthem. I need to run out and read all her plays now.

Bardiac said...

Ahhh, I missed the news.

Damn.

Murky Thoughts said...

I only became conscious of her a year ago when I heard a performance of "the Heidi Chronicles" on the radio. I was blown away, and immediately set to combing the Web for who she was. Sad news.

What Now? said...

Thanks for this news, which I had missed. Very sad indeed. I regularly teach Heidi Chronicles, which my male students usually hate and my female students love. More than one student has become a self-identified feminist after reading this play in my class, which I always find a powerful experience.

Dr. Lisa said...

If you all liked Heidi, pick the Shiska Goddess: or how I spent my forties. It made me laugh until my sides hurt.

Fast Fizzy said...

I was married at her sister's Inn in Vermont.

zelda1 said...

Thanks for letting us know.

zelda1 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Virgo Sis said...

Fast Fizzy - I either didn't know or forgot about that!! (Memory issues run in the family.)

Dr. Virago said...

Yeah, Fizzy, I didn't remember that either. Weird.