The Heidi Chronicles By Wendy Wasserstein

I listened to the audio version of the play from Library2Go. The story was pretty good. Enjoyed the interview with the author at the end. English solid play. really enjoyed it and it’s commentary English The Heidi Chronicles is a coming of age novel that leaves the reader feeling empty, disappointed and more than a little depressed. The main character comes of age during a time of change and movement from the time spanning the 1960's-to the early 90's. With all of this change surrounding her Heidi feels compelled to action and finds herself fiercely advocating for the representation of women in art. However through all of this she finds herself lonely and unfulfilled. Her romantic life center mainly around two men, Peter Patron and Scoop Rosenbaum, however each one has a surprise for her.

Besides the fact that I hated the main character the story itself was pretty good I guess. GUESS being the operative word. The play is a disjointed mess, that lacked the fluidity which most readers (or viewers) need in order to keep up with the story. The so called witty banter reeked of forced artsyness and I felt an extreme disappointment that this play had won awards and was considered great American writing.

But maybe the play actually would be good for somebody who was 16 in 1965 and could understand all the references. OH THE REFERENCES!!! Without a proper understanding of these references it's impossible to garner any sort of appreciation for the book and that in itself is a problem. It doesn't have the timelessness of a true play (cough cough...SHAKESPEARE...cough cough OSCAR WILDE). And therefore god willing it will slip quietly into oblivion within the next decade or so. English A pulitzer prize winning play for the feminist Vassar and Brown crowd. English I adore Wendy Wasserstein's work and this is my favorite. I'v always wanted to play Peter in a production. A great look a life! English

Comprised of a series of interrelated scenes, the play traces the coming of age of Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, as she tries to find her bearings in a rapidly changing world. Gradually distancing herself from her friends, she watches them move from the idealism and political radicalism of their college years through militant feminism and, eventually, back to the materialism that they had sought to reject in the first place. Heidi's own path to maturity involves an affair with the glib, arrogant Scoop Rosenbaum, a womanizing lawyer/publisher who eventually marries for money and position; a deeper but even more troubling relationship with a charming, witty young pediatrician, Peter Patrone, who turns out to be gay; and increasingly disturbing contacts with the other women, now much changed, who were a part of her childhood and college years. Eventually Heidi comes to accept the fact that liberation can be achieved only if one is true to oneself, with goals that come out of need rather than circumstance. As the play ends she is still alone, but having adopted an orphaned baby, it is clear that she has begun to find a sense of fulfillment and continuity that may well continue to elude the others of her anxious, self-centered generation. The Heidi Chronicles

Although the play seems slightly dated, it’s filled with interesting ideas and intelligent dialogue. The play’s unwillingness to settle on either comedy or tragedy felt similar to some of Woody Allen’s most original and complex movie scripts. English One of my reading themes in 2016, that I hope to continue in 2017, has been to read more classic plays. It is in this regard that I selected Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1988. Wasserstein had previously wrote for the Seattle Repertory Company and penned two other plays- An Uncommon Woman and A Life Imagined. Heidi was her first play to win multiple awards and enjoy long success on Broadway.

The Heidi Chronicles details twenty five years in the life of Dr. Heidi Holland, professor of art history. Heidi becomes an archetype of the baby boom era who went from campaigning for Eugene McCarthy to demanding equality for women in the work place and at home. Along the way, we meet other characters who share Heidi's journey in life: Susan who is Heidi's closest friend and cracks the glass ceiling in the working world; Scoop Rosenbaum an entrepreneur who loves Heidi but can not marry her because she would rather achieve at work than at home; and Peter Patrone, Heidi's first love who becomes a successful pediatrician and then turns out to be gay. These four characters become representative of the baby boom era that is still achieving today.

In the course of 80 pages of dialogue, it is clear that Wasserstein diligently took the time to research Heidi's character. We learn of lesser known female painters who had to take a back seat to famous men in society; most evident is Lilly Cabot who at a time lived next door to Monet and learned from the French master. What Heidi hoped to achieve in the art world was to eradicate the gap between men and women so that Lilly Cabot is as well known as Claude Monet. This is apparent with Wasserstein's other characters as well. Susan makes inroads in producing sitcoms, Lisa publishes children's books, and April hosts Hello, New York. All of these gains occurred in the 1980s while the glass ceiling was first beginning to crack.

What did not work for me and lowered my rating was the depiction of the male characters in the play. In order to get Heidi to achieve, Wasserstein created two ex-lovers who maintained traits negative enough for Heidi to reject them. Scoop Rosenbaum desired a spouse who would not compete with him. Lisa Friedlander desired a family and was happy taking a back seat to her husband, so she was marriageable material; Heidi, who loved Scoop dearly but wanted a successful career, was not. Peter also loved Heidi for a quarter century but turns out to be gay. In the 21st century, Scoop and Heidi would be considered a power couple. In the mid 1980s, however, Heidi impedes Scoop rise to stardom, thus dating the play thirty years back.

The Heidi Chronicles remains a poignant study of the feminist side to the baby boom generation. I enjoyed reading how women of my mother's generation began to crack into the mythical glass ceiling in many facets of the working world. Yet, from its depiction of men, I believe the play not to be as timeless as some of the other plays I have read this year. Heidi was deserving of the Pulitzer upon its release in 1988, and I glad that I took the time to study it. Worthy of this award, I rate The Heidi Chronicles 4 stars. English It's funny, the elements that made this play groundbreaking 30 years ago are what make it sound dated now. Doesn't take away from it's importance. English I'm on a bit of a Wendy Wasserstein kick. This play won the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony in 1989. Even though the play is over 20 years old, the themes presented are still valid. English Wow. Amazing. The Heidi Chronicles captivated me in ways I never expected! This witty, fast-paced and enchanting play culminates with a chilling reality about careers, love, marriage, friendship and the ups and downs of life. The Heidi Chronicles resonated with me on so many levels and I look forward to seeing it on stage soon. Better yet, I look forward to someday portraying Heidi on stage. Highly recommend. English


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