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.