Music Box Theatre, (3/19/2015 - 5/03/2015)

First Preview: Feb 23, 2015
Opening Date: Mar 19, 2015
Closing Date: May 03, 2015
Total Previews: 27
Total Performances: 53

Category: Play, Revival, Broadway
Setting: New York, Chicago, Manchester, New Hampshire, Ann Arbor Michigan. 1965-1989.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

Produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Susan Gallin, Mary Lu Roffe, Eagle Productions LLC, Stacy Jacobs, LTPS Productions, Gabrielle Palitz, Sally Horchow, Rebecca Gold, Ken Greiner, Grimaldi & WSProductions, Jamie deRoy & friends, Amy Kaissar, Suzanne Friedman, Ed Goldstone, Jessica Genick and Will Trice; Associate Producer: Kathy Henderson and Steven Strauss

"The Heidi Chronicles" first had a workshop production by Seattle Repertory Theatre; "The Heidi Chronicles" was first produced by Playwrights Horizons; Originally produced on Broadway by The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Bernard B. Jacobs: President), Suntory International Corporation and James Walsh; Originally produced on Broadway in association with Playwrights Horizons

Written by Wendy Wasserstein

Directed by Pam MacKinnon; Associate Director: Jenna Worsham

Scenic Design by John Lee Beatty; Costume Design by Jessica Pabst; Lighting Design by Japhy Weideman; Sound Design by Jill B.C. Du Boff; Projection Design by Peter Nigrini; Hair Design by Leah J. Loukas; Make-Up Design by Leah J. Loukas; Associate Scenic Design: Kacie Hultgren; Associate Costume Design: Heather Lockard; Associate Lighting Design: Yael Lubetzky; Associate Projection Design: C. Andrew Bauer; Associate Sound Design: David Sanderson; Assistant Lighting Design: JAX Messenger; Assistant Projection Design: Grant McDonald; Moving Light Programmer: Colin Scott

General Manager: Bespoke Theatricals; Company Manager: Michelle H. Tamagawa

Technical Supervisor: Hudson Theatrical Associates; Production Stage Manager: Charles M. Turner, III; Stage Manager: Sara Cox Bradley

Casting: Daniel Swee, C.S.A.; Press Representative: Irene Gandy, Alana Karpoff, Christopher Pineda and Thomas Raynor; Marketing: Irene Gandy, Alana Karpoff, Christopher Pineda and Thomas Raynor; Advertising: AKA; Marketing/Insights: AKA; Interactive Marketing: Broadway's Best Shows; Online/Digital Interactive: Situation Interactive; Movement Consultant: Sam Pinkleton; Photographer: Joan Marcus

Opening Night Cast

Jason BiggsScoop Rosenbaum
Elisabeth MossHeidi Holland
Bryce PinkhamPeter Patrone
Ali Ahn
Broadway debut
Susan Johnston
Leighton BryanJill
Tracee ChimoFran
Elise KiblerBecky
Andy Truschinski
Broadway debut
Chris Boxer

Standby: Therese Plaehn (Heidi Holland)

Understudies: Ben Graney (Chris Boxer, Mark, Peter Patrone, Ray, Scoop Rosenbaum, Waiter), Amelia McClain (April, Becky, Betsy, Clara, Debbie, Denise, Fran, Hostess, Jill, Lisa, Molly) and Therese Plaehn (Susan Johnston)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2015 Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play [nominee] 

Elisabeth Moss


AP: "Liberation not so easy in stylish 'Heidi Chronicles' starring Elisabeth Moss"

It's possible that some aspects of women's liberation weren't really so liberating, after all, as Wendy Wasserstein dared to suggest in her 1989 Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Heidi Chronicles."

Her wry, compassionate look at seminal societal changes from 1965 to 1989 is reflected through the privileged prism of a few extremely articulate, Ivy-educated Baby Boomers. The original Broadway production garnered Wasserstein, who died in 2005, the first Tony awarded to a female playwright.

Through a gently comical presentation of Sixties' feminism through 1980s "post-feminism," Wasserstein posits that the women's movement provided women with new, confusing goals, like achieving equality with men, having a fulfilling career and finding personal happiness, while they remained yoked to the old goals of marriage and raising children.

Elisabeth Moss is a luminous, quizzical Heidi in the stylish revival that opened Thursday night on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre, with Bryce Pinkham and Jason Biggs giving depth to two important men in Heidi's life. Director Pam MacKinnon moves the cast with assurance through each flashback showing Heidi's conflicted idealism and indecision, as the ensemble adeptly delivers Wasserstein's dialogue, which crackles with wit, ironies and pointed social commentary.

Successful art historian Heidi watches and questions as her ambitious friends evolve much more purposefully than she does, starting with a charmingly awkward 1965 prep-school dance. On wonderfully detailed sets by John Lee Beatty, as Heidi and her friends progress through the most turbulent decades of American history, Moss remains bemused and purposefully remote. She beautifully conveys Heidi's intelligence, emotional fragility, ambivalence and resilience.

Moss, best known as ambitious copywriter Peggy on "Mad Men," particularly resonates when Heidi has a weepy near-breakdown during a prep-school alumni speech, set in 1986, because she unhappily finds herself envying other women, feeling stranded, and wondering why women no longer seem to be "all in this together."

Pinkham is completely captivating, giving a nuanced portrayal of Heidi's longtime close friend Peter Patrone, a liberal, caustic, gay pediatrician. Biggs is personable enough to create some appeal for obnoxious, cocksure journalist Scoop Rosenbaum, whom Heidi falls hopelessly in love with, then keeps as a friend despite his infidelities and endless bombastic pronouncements.

A sprightly Ali Ahn adds diversity as Heidi's best friend Susan, who morphs from a feminist sheperdess to a powerful, if shallow, television producer. In a clever power-restaurant scene set in 1984, we see their diverging paths, as Heidi wistfully asks Susan, "Do you ever think what makes you a person is also what keeps you from being a person?" and Susan replies blithely, "By now I've been so many people, I don't know who I am. And I don't care."

While we get the message that friends can make the best family, the denouement feels contrived, a little out of synch with the complex interactions that precede it. Twenty-six years after this play was written, Heidi's idealistic quest for fulfillment remains relevant, as does Wasserstein's incisive reminder of how hard it is to really change the world.


New York Daily News: "'The Heidi Chronicles' review: Elisabeth Moss, of 'Mad Men' leads Broadway revival"

Wendy Wasserstein’s 1988 play “The Heidi Chronicles” was originally a bracing wakeup call about women’s evolving lives. The Broadway revival is far less stirring.

Chalk that up to the passage of time and a middling performance by “Mad Men” star Elisabeth Moss.

Bookended by scenes set in the late 1980s, the story reverses to 1965 and moves ahead for drive-by looks at moments in the heroine’s life. Friendships are forged, careers carved out, seductions achieved, protests enacted and nerves frayed. Through it all, maybe, there’s hope for the future.

Front and center is art professor Heidi Holland (Moss), often accompanied by one of the two men in her life — sometime lover Scoop (Jason Biggs), a hotshot publisher and lawyer, and BFF Peter (Bryce Pinkham), who becomes a doctor.

Single girl Heidi’s life amounts to a big, aching irony. She’s devoted herself to honoring women forgotten by history only to realize that she is adrift in her own time.

In its day, the play, which began Off-Broadway before transferring to Broadway and winning a Pulitzer and a Tony, was a heady blast of fresh feminist-themed consciousness-raising. Its landmark status is intact, but its impact has been blunted by the years: Such topics are now everywhere on stage, film, TV and even in Patricia Arquette’s Oscar acceptance speech.

Pam MacKinnon’s direction is heavy-handed and lacks nuance. MacKinnon, who won a Tony for the “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” revival in 2012, fails to summon the elegance and poignancy of the piece.

Worse, the characters are one-dimensional, so often we feel as if we’re not watching people, but caricatures — especially supporting roles like the butch feminist, the cobralike lady executive, the pushover wife and the oblivious female talk-show host.

The stars don’t help much. Pinkham, a Tony nominee for “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” is solid as Peter, who meets Heidi at a teenage dance. His breezy first scene makes his final one — when he reads Heidi the riot act — all the better.

But Biggs, seen on Broadway in “The Graduate,” is miscast as Scoop. He captures the newsman’s arrogance, but lacks the charisma and charm to make such a loathsome character convincing.

Moss gives a capable if starchy performance. The actress is at her best when onstage alone, addressing students jokingly during a class, and woundedly during a speech. But it’s a rare moment when Heidi and her chronicles come fully alive.

New York Daily News

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