Friday, Feb. 13, 2009

Still Life with Muliple Demographics: University Opening Night

By Russ Bickerstaff
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The Marquette University campus was quite last night as my wife and I went in for the first of two shows in a row there. We were there to go to the theatre, the lobby of shich ended up being packed for opening night of the Marquette University production of The Heidi Chronicles. The Pulitzer Prize-winning drama from 1989 had drawn a fair number of students and others.

The audience demographic made a strange pattern in the theatre—most of the older people in the audience were sitting at the center of the theatre towards the back, spilling out into the sides. Younger audience members—students and such—sat on the sides. My wife and I were somewhere in between.

The play, which follows a woman from her Boomer high school experience in the mid-‘60’s through motherhood in the late ‘80’s, seems to be pretty heavily focused on the character’s life in her late 20’s and 30’s. It may have only seemed like that, but it would make sense if the late playwright Wendy Wasserstein, who was 38 when the play was written in the late ‘80’s, decided to focus more  of the play on her more recent memories . . . my wife and I found ourselves laughing at the play more often than the college students who aren’t old enough and the boomers in the audience who may have been to far away from memories of their late 20’s/early ‘30’s to remember with the kind of empathy my wife and I seem to have . . .

A full review of the show appears in next week’s Shepherd-Express. Marquette’s production of  The Heidi Chronicles runs through February 22nd.

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