Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Sisters Rosensweig

Profile Theatre
Posted by Followspot March 24, 2007; closes April 22, 2007

Well-crafted, polished production; comforting sheen of tradition reflecting the hard lessons of happiness and fulfillment. Compassionate, maturely drawn – and often very funny – performances from uniformly generous ensemble keenly composed – especially Barbara Kerr’s genuinely complex Sara; Shelly Lipkin’s disarming Mervyn. Attractive, elaborate technical elements. Definitely different Wasserstein than earlier in season.

4 comments:

daniel shaw said...

like three marbles spun in a bowl that inevitably fall back to the center - this is impression i got of these three sisters.

jewish, muslim, pure bred conneticut yankee wasp - it doesn't matter the heritage. we all have similar forces spinning the elements of all our lives. i found it facinating and the brilliant depiction of them here is excellent theatre.

i admired this production greatly in all it's elements. the entire cast engaged the text (and each other) with great sensitivity and energy. in particular, Leif Norby showed off his impressive range and Shelly Lipkin - his impressive heart.

the space itself has some tough sight lines audience L and R for the extreme thrust.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I thought that was the problem somwhat. Perhaps if the entire cast not only egaged the text but married it there may have been more truth throughout. Yes I thought Shelly was very good. But I felt Leif, although I have thoroughly enjoyed him in other productions this year, landed cheap, forced and unsympathetic. Constantly feeling he was acting at being this guy rather than enbodying him. And, Mr. Alexander was as inefectual as an actor could be. It felt to me as if he was just taking up room in a very lively house. Great House. Although too young for her role, Ms. Soden brought her own truth to Pfeni beautifully. I'd love to see her revisit this role when she has a little more life experience.

Anonymous said...

It's always fascinating to see how different people perceive different performances. I couldn't agree more with the Shaw comments on Norby and Lipkin here. Thought they were the best of show. Lipkin's compassion was palpable. I'm still laughing at Norby's easy antics, but was also touched by his character's moving reflections on feelings from a sad era I remember well. Am puzzled by Anon's read on Norby and on Soden -- my feeling was that she seemed one dimensional and just didn't seem to be inter-acting with the other characters in a true or meaningful way. The rest of the cast seemed to fit much better together, and to be more natural and easy with their purposes.

But, that's why I enjoy reading this blog. It's a good reminder that we all have our own points of view. That's the magic of art -- we all bring our individual lives into it, and take our own thoughts and experiences away from it.

Overall I was very impressed by this show. It's very well written, well cast, and well acted in this production. Though I felt Lipkin and Norby were the stand-outs, the cast as a whole was just wonderful together, and there were a lot of laughs and moments of tenderness in this fine production.

Anonymous said...

Nearly everyone was wonderful in this cast, though I think Kerr was a little old and Soden a little young for their roles to be totally believable as 54 and 40, respectively. I especially liked Kerr, Lipkin, and the actress who played the second sister, Dr. Gorgeous. Part of the problems mentioned by previous posters with Soden and Norby, I think, lies in the roles as written. She's a flaky outsider and he's a flighty showboat. It's got to hard to put such roles across; how to avoid "acting at being this guy" when Jeffrey is such a ham, anyway? Although generally well written, the play veers a little into soap opera at times, to my eyes. I really wasn't interested in ANY of the younger characters, including Pfeni and Geoffrey; the best moments belonged to Sara and Mervyn, although I find it hard to credit his persistence in the face of her unrelenting rudeness. This production is well worth seeing, though; awesome set, given the space constraints!