Sisters Rosensweig Benefit: Bruce Glikas/Lincoln Center
March 13, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Sisters Rosensweig

Current Status
In Season
run date
Christine Baranski, Stockard Channing
Daniel Sullivan
Wendy Wasserstein

For years I’ve been regretting missing the original Broadway production of The Sisters Rosensweig. I devoured it in print, made do with video clips, and kicked myself repeatedly for not squeezing one more show into a 1994 NYC theater trip. (In retrospect, Blue Man Group: Tubes could have bitten the dust.) Thankfully, the powers that be behind Lincoln Center Theater gave me a second chance on March 5 with a one-night-only benefit reading of Wendy Wasserstein’s gorgeous Chekhovian comedy. They nabbed three dynamite actresses for the title roles: LCT stalwart Stockard Channing (The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, Four Baboons Adoring the Sun, Hapgood, The Little Foxes) as ”hot shot Jewish lady banker” Sara; her Blue Leaves costar Christine Baranski as Dr. ”You’ve Heard of Dr. Pepper?” Gorgeous; and Edie Falco (pictured, right, with Baranski and Channing) as ”counterrevolutionary” travel columnist Pfeni. They persuaded Robert Klein to reprise his role as menschy faux furrier Merv Kant, the ”world leader in synthetic protective animal covering.” They rallied a top-notch supporting cast: Simon Jones as Nick Pym (a.k.a. ”Lord Gefilte”); Christopher Guest stalwart John Michael Higgins as bisexual British musical-theater director Geoffrey Duncan; Ari Graynor as Sara’s identity-seeking daughter Tess; and Peter Scanavino as her Cockney-accented beau Tom. They wrangled Coast of Utopia player Aaron Krohn to read the stage directions, brought back original director Daniel Sullivan, projected an artistic rendering of John Lee Beatty’s sumptuous set on the Vivian Beaumont stage, and — oh yeah — raised more than $1 million through tickets and a postshow comfort-food feast (think chicken pot pie and apple crisp). And though the evening was filled with laughter, it ended on a bittersweet note: with a photo of the late Wendy Wasserstein (who died of lymphoma last year, at age 55) descending from the heavens. It was a fitting tribute to a woman who taught us to believe that ”there are real possibilities in life.”

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