We went to see The Heidi Chronicles, a revival of Wendy Wasserstein’s awesome feminist play starring Elisabeth Moss, Jason Biggs, Bryce Pinkham, Ali Ahn, Leighton Bryan, Tracee Chimo, Elise Kibler, and Andy Truschinski. Here’s what we thought!
If you don’t know anything about Love Letters before you see it, don’t let the title fool you. This was not, in our opinion, a romantic show. It was a tragic one. If you find it romantic, we’d love to talk to you about why. It also wasn’t much of a show. While we may gravitate towards bigger, splashier shows (and musicals), we don’t need those elements to enjoy ourselves. But this was two actors sitting at a table on an otherwise empty stage, reading their lines. That’s not to say they weren’t performing. But the nature of the play has them literally reading the letters to each other. It was like seeing a staged reading, but this was no benefit. It was a full price, for profit Broadway show.
The story itself is not anything that hasn’t been told before. An upper class boy and girl (then man and woman) weave in and out of friendship and more as their lives pull them apart. But they can’t seem to stop writing letters to each other. Emily was pretty angry that it seemed as soon as Melissa said they were better off friends, her life went downhill. Patty just wasn’t very moved by the relationship between the two, many problems which seemed to arise by bad decisions by one or both of them. The redeeming part of the show was Mia Farrow, who had some really great moments, and gave humanity to what could be a thankless role. Brian Dennehy was commanding, but we weren’t able to sympathize with or like his character at all.
All this being said, there is a rotating amazing set of actors tackling this play. And since it’s really just the actors on stage alone, with no sets, costumes, sound, etc., you really are paying to see them. So if you want to see Brian Dennehy, Mia Farrow, Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Candice Bergen, Stacy Keach, Diana Rigg, Martin Sheen, or Anjelica Huston, here’s your chance.