The Heidi Chronicles is a classic tale told in theatrical fashion that elucidates some very poignant questions about life. The existential nature of one’s being is pointed out in the lively play featuring Elisabeth Moss as the central character.
Does one lose one’s passion with the passage of time? Can a woman find fulfillment in a career as much as in a married life with a husband and kids? These are the age-old questions that are posed in The Heidi Chronicles.
This was Wendy Wasserstein’s play that was aired on Broadway way back in 1989. Once again the play is being shown to an eager and hungry public in an intuitive and instructive manner.
Elisabeth Moss will be the Main Miss in the theatrical that will get replayed. Moss played the role of Peggy in Mad Men. She portrays Heidi Holland, an erstwhile loudmouthed feminist who evolves towards being a thoughtful art historian with a sensitive nature.
She is shown engaged in self-talk with herself regarding her alternatives. And she has many suitors and wooers. Her awkward nature that is passive-aggressive at best leads to all the chances at having solid meaningful relationships slip away like castles built on sand.
The baby boomer generation is shown the mirror in the play with alacrity and plain honesty. The play is an interesting amalgam of good and bad and right and wrong getting all confused in the postmodern era where anything goes. Everything from the conundrums of the Vietnam Era to the radical feminism of the late 60s is given its rightful place in history.
The main conflict at the core of the drama is the pivotal choice of career versus family that is a critical juncture in every woman’s life. Heidi has her best friend in the form of Susan and then there is Peter.
Finally, another man by the name of Scoop enters her life. However, despite all the evident signs, Scoop weds someone else. Her radical feminist friends espouse ideals which she does not necessarily endorse.
And she thinks for herself instead of getting swept away by the propaganda of either camp. And as the depressive over-the-hill time period that is middle age appears over the horizon, Heidi is left in a lurch. The alienation, the emptiness and hurt feelings are given audiovisual form in the drama about fragility and trauma and broken trust.
Jason Biggs plays opposite Elisabeth Moss. This Broadway revival has the audience in an avid and attentive mode since the issues it deals with are perennial in their scope and vision. The fact that a female in today’s world has so few choices open to her and such a paucity of roles to occupy are shown with characteristic straightforwardness.
The malaise and general apathy of women who are side-lined by men in a man’s world is what the play is all about. Yet in the end there is hope for the future generation of females since they will have better and stronger role models who will be all about empowerment and drive.
The women of the world will one fine day unite and then will begin the re-evaluation of all values. The Heidi Chronicles bagged quite a few prizes including a Pulitzer way back in the late 80s when it came in public view.
Even today though it has relevance since the struggle for human rights is an ongoing and never ending journey. The story of some people, men and women, who are caught up in a web of human relationships that both heal and hurt them at the same time is something worth pondering over late at night.
The actors and actresses who played a part in the revival of the play include Moss, Pinkham, Biggs and Ahn. Maybe the main message of the whole shebang can be summed up in the memorable and striking title of that song by the Rolling Stones “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”…and in that case what is to be done about such a situation normal absolutely fouled up?
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