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The Heidi Chronicles
by The Archer School for Girls
 
Art historian Heidi Holland takes us on a guide through a museum exhibit of women artists as Wendy Wassersteinís Pulitzer-winning play begins guiding us through Heidiís two decades of womenís liberation from the 60s to the 80s, setting the scenes and time periods with musical interludes from You Send Me to Joplin to Aretha Franklin to Madonna. The changing time periods also getting a boost from some great costumes (Laina Chin) and wigs (Diane Martinous) in Director Tracy Poversteinís compelling production at The Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles.

Lily Harris stars as Heidi, beautifully capturing the intelligent woman who finds her life slowly slipping away from her as she embraces the many new possibilities that the 60s provided for women, but becomes increasingly frustrated that her personal relationships arenít living up to her youthful dreams. She does so with a natural and genuine performance, whether it be nailing a large and critical monologue or showing great chemistry with the two men in her life.

The all-girl school gives their performers opportunities to tackle all the male roles as well. Abrielle Josephson is dynamite as the amusing and charismatic Peter Ė the guy on the lookout for bored, depressed, and anxious women. As Heidiís best friend, itís like slipping on an old shoe whenever the two are together on stage. While the other guy in Heidiís life, Samantha Rosenwald, delivers a very strong performance as Heidiís romantic interest Scoop Rosenbaum Ė a clever, arrogant, dynamic and successful man entranced by Heidi but with a desire for women more focused on being his wife.

Elsewhere, the cast shows great depth including Heidiís close lawyer friend Susan (Laina Chin) and an engaging female support group that boasts the perfect hostess Jill (Tracy Kopulsky) and the hilarious Grace Fetterman as outspoken and sarcastic militant lesbian Fran. Benina Stern is the quintessential morning talk show host, Caila Gale has a comedic turn as Betsy, Elizabeth OíDonnell turns in a nice performance as Scoopís wife Lisa, Emma Pauly and Cora Cull amusingly team up to lead the movement for ďmore V, less P,Ē while Samara Josephson, Ellie Beckman, Lydia DeCoud, and Chace Beech combine to keep the years humming and rocking along with their musical time machine.

The background includes three large frames by set designer JP Luckenbach, used as the museum exhibit with the two side frames also displaying slides of pictures and scene information, with the central frame featuring Miriam Daffordís huge reproduction of Lilly Martin Spencerís We Both Must Fade Ė a young woman gazing upon her momentary youth in the mirror, not yet aware of how herself and her life will be reflected when her youthful appearance no longer gazes back.

Performed November 12 - 13, 2010

Rob Hopper
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Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~
 

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Heidi: Lily Harris
Susan: Laina Chin
Peter: Abrielle Josephson
Chris/Ensemble: Katie Mock
Scoop: Samantha Rosenwald
Jill: Tracy Kopulsky
Fran: Grace Fetterman
Becky: Amanda Reiter
Debbie/Cha Cha: Emma Pauly
Mark: Chanel Williams
Lisa: Elizabeth O'Donnell
Molly: Sophia Pendleton
Denise: Tess Berger
Betsy: Caila Gale
April: Benina Stern
Steve/Ensemble: Izze Rust
Mindy: Mica Daniels
Ray/Clara: Cora Cull
Singer/Madonna: Samara Josephson
Singer/Janis Joplin: Ellie Beckman
Singer/Aretha Franklin: Lydia DeCoud
Singer/Uncle Sol: Chace Beech

Director: Tracy Poverstein
Assistant Director: Sarah Loughman
Technical Director: Susan Luckenbach
Stage Manager: Abigail Clark
Set Design: JP Luckenbach
Lighting Design: Susan Luckenbach/JP Luckenbach
Assistant Lighting Design: Nicholas Inglis
Sound Design: Rebecca Kessin
Scenic Painting: Miriam Dafford
Wig Design: Diane Martinous
Musical Director: Samara Josephson
Sound Operator: Sarah Eshaghian
Lightboard Operator: Tess Morgan
Choreography for Madonna: Reed Farley
Program/Poster Design: Sydney Schneider
Costumes Mistress: Laina Chin
Music Consultant: Ryan Hutchinson
Projector Operators: Caila Gale and Tess Berger
Props: Benina Stern and Sophia Pendleton

   

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