The Sisters Rosensweig | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Sisters Rosensweig 

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Though less original than her earlier work, Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosensweig, now at the Shubert Theatre in an efficient-to-inspired touring production directed by Daniel Sullivan, treats its characters with tenderness and its audience like grown-ups. Rich with homage to Chekhov's trio of siblings, this reunion of three deeply divergent sisters offers each woman a chance to measure her own choices and sacrifices against those of the others--and to reassess her Jewish roots. At the center is eldest sister Sara's retreat from "hope and rebirth" and the persistent adoration of a brash faux furrier named Mervyn. Though the play contains echoes of Talley's Folly and Crimes of the Heart, ultimately its wisdom justifies its formulas; Wasserstein's variant strikes gold in the familiarity of details that suggest fully shared lives. A vibrant pro, Linda Thorson neatly contrasts Sara's brittle brilliance with her angry loneliness; Joan McMurtrey brings brainy vulnerability to Pfeni, a travel writer who prefers a long-distance love affair to one with an unstable bisexual; Nancy Dussault brings her understated comedy to frazzled radio shrink Gorgeous; and Greg Mullavey's Mervyn charms in all directions. 22 W. Monroe, 977-1700. Through November 6. Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 PM, Sundays at 3 PM. $22 to $47.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Ken Howard.

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