PDF READ [Wendy and the Lost Boys]
Six months ago I realized that I was seeing a lot of shows but not reading many plays so I took it upon myself to start reading one play a week to pick up on a large chunk of work that I was unfamiliar with To simplify my process I choose one playwright at a time and read their whole cannon before proceeding and I am working on alternating males and females while mixing up race as well I started with August Wilson s Century Cycle then moved on to Wendy Wasserstein since the theatre I work for had a long standing relationship with her and my boss knew her well I thought it was appropriate I know ou don t care but I am on Harold Pinter right now I know Caveman Alien's Ransom: A SciFi BBW/Alien Fated Mates Romance (Caveman Aliens Book 1) you don t care but I am on Harold Pinter right now this means isou would have an additional book review each week if I were reviewing the plays but I digressI fell in love with Wendy and her characters I relate to her work and I am moved by seeing her in all of her characters the search for oneself and the longing for the unattainably perfect life we were told we could have or even worse the life our parents want us to have without regard for what we want Wendy and I might be separated by a few decades in age but I relate to her work so deeply Reading Wendy and the Lost Boys was an incredibly enjoyable experienceOn top of getting down and dirty with Wendy s family what a clan this book also added another chapter to the History of Off Broadway cannon You can t have a history of Off Broadway without a history of it s people and this book is no exception It joins Free For All Joe Papp The Public and The Greatest Theater Story Ever Told by Kenneth Turan and Joseph Papp as one of my favorite theatre history books I have no doubt that there are some inaccuracies as people claim Wendy passed away over 5 ears ago and was an incredibly private person anyhow when alive but I appreciate the story as a whole and love the tribute that this book is to her and to her work the work that I admire so deeplyhttpsassypeachreadsblogspotcom A friend who called it a page turner gave me this book We both worked on the Playwrights Horizons production of Isn t It Romantic and also with many of the theatre people who populate the book so for us it definitely was Contrasting the private Wasserstein with the public Wasserstein the book reveals an ambitious talented driven social woman who defied uppercrust conventions in her appearance but was buffeted about privately by traditional societal expectations of family life and stalked by tragedy It does not sufficiently convey how funny she could be The uote most interesting to me was from John Lyons the one time literary manager who said that if Playwrights had received blind submissions of a Noel Coward play #And A Sam Shepard Play The Noel Coward Would Be #a Sam Shepard play the Noel Coward would be one that Would Have Been Produced Aha have been produced Aha rich and privileged do think different from ou and me Not gonna lie when I reached the end of the book I felt like crying I guess it was because the book made me feel like I really knew who Wendy Wasserste I was wholly unfamiliar with Wendy Wasserstein but I love reading about writers and her life featured so many elements I enjoy reading about women s colleges New York City the arts scene and complicated families This is an authorized biography and I was apprehensive at first that would mean a glossing over of anything unsavory about Wasserstein or her family Instead I found it to be measured fair and detailed albeit dry from time to time Wasserstein s life has elements of the fairy tale a secret brother suirreled away in an asylum her mother s forgotten first marriage rollercoaster success as a playwright her secret pregnancy and Salamon presents Wasserstein s story with respect and a kind of calmness At some points I wanted a little less distance Salamon writes very openly about the Wassersteins intense secrecy and even though she shares painful revelations I still felt at arm s length Perhaps it was the subject herself as Salamon explains in her Acknowledgments Untangling Wendy Wasserstein s story reuired constant triangulation between her dramatic interpretations of her life and times her nonfiction essays and everything else The snapshots of Wasserstein s life at Mount Holyoke were especially fascinating to me I love reading about women s colleges in the 60s and learning about the Off Broadway theater scene was very eye opening especially in regards to how women were treated I enjoy taking risks with my reading now and then and I appreciated this biography of a new to me writer Wendy Wasserstein is now on my TBR having this background will make reading her work richer I think and I m curious now about other female playwrights from the 60s and 70s. W were aware that she was gravely ill The cherished confidante to so many Wendy privately endured her greatest heartbreaks alone At once a moving portrait of an uncommon woman and a nuanced study of the generation she came to represent Wendy and The Lost Boys uncovers the magic of Wendy’s work A daughter of the 1950s an artist that came of age during the freewheeling 1970s a power woman in 1980s New York and a single mother at the turn of the century Wendy’s very life spoke to the tensions of an era of great change for women in particular Salamon brings each distinct moment to vibrant life always returning to Wendy’s works The Heidi Chronicles and others to show her in the free space of the theater Here Wendy spoke in the most intimate of terms about everything that matters most family and love dreams and devastation And that is the Wendy of Neverland the Wendy who will never grow
Ith intimacy and romance evidenced by her incredibly close relationships with gay men who would never want to touch her and her less close relationships with straight men who so clearly wanted to marry her Salomon does a brilliant job of Weaving Wendy s personal life with her subject matter I was hookedIt would be hard for me to recommend this book to somebody who has never seen her plays But if ou have read the book It is not without flaws I still have so many uestions about this woman And I saw some other reviews that complained that the book was not funny Wendy was funny why wasn t the book I somewhat agree that her humor wasn t displayed enough in this work but ultimately her life wasn t that hilarious Meryl Streep who seems normal to me characterized her as lonely and sad I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the life of playwright Wendy Wasserstein who died in 2006 at the age of 55 I knew Wasserstein Through Her Plays Which Were All About Personal Identity And her plays which were all about personal identity and and so well reflected the Boomer generation and her New Yorker articles This narrative chronicles her life from her childhood in a family of Jewish immigrant parents to her undergraduate ears at Mt Holyoke and her graduate studies at Yale D Note after the first 3 paragraphs below written immediately upon completing the book find the review I wrote for the Washtenaw Jewish News I loved this book I never much liked Wasserstein s plays but I thought that she herself was an intriguing personality Julie Salamon whose writing I ve long admired is a consummate journalist and biographer thorough thoughtful and sensitive and lyrical Like Wendy Wasserstein Salamon is Jewish and her Jewishness subtly informs An incredibly fun read not only about Wendy Wasserstein but her generation of playwrights It reads like an extensive magazine profile than a traditional biography punctuated with incisive uotations and observations from her family and friends not only about Wendy and her work While largely reflecting upon the 60s and the 80s her potent themes examining uncommon women familiarly set in the context of the seven sisters colleges family and aging still feel incredibly fresh and contemporary The end depicting her deteriorating health runs a little long but otherwise this is a great read on how an artist takes the deeply personal and elevates it into art A couple of favorite linesFor the Smithies Mary Jane felt that their friendship really began senior ear when they were away from the odd pressure of being rare specimens at Amherst emphasis mineOn the 80s and really now Our social concerns really have to do with the uality of our own livesWe tend to want to live well and we re unhappy when we can t John Lyons one of the casting directors wasserstein worked withon the etiuette of the Wasserstein worked withOn the etiuette of the Good manners go a long way But even people in the mafia have better manners than in show business Caroline Aaron 4 stars star off because of the lack of humor within these pagesI m completely wrung out after reading this book and felt that way during my entire reading of it More on that laterBut first This is an excellent book It s well written and fascinating It is exactly what a biography should be It looks as though it would have been great fun to research and write as the author interviewed so many family members friends acuaintances of her subject as well as made use of written records to get as full a picture as possible of the woman Brilliant and tragic and captivatingThe only negative of the book from an objective view there were plenty for me subjectively is that given how funny Wasserstein was and that s commented on a lot in these pages this book isn t funny at least not to me It didn t make me laugh or smile in amusement I would have liked some humor in the telling For a book about a woman with a fabulous sense of humor the lack of humor in the book was strikingFor me I felt depressed and infuriated as I read and as I think about Wasserstein s life It wrung me out and was a emotionally difficult read for meWasserstein was three ears older than I and I recognized the era and I was familiar with some of Wasserstein s work This wonderful birthday gift book brought back many of my memories from over the Khaiye Aur Vajan Ghataiye years it was hard for me not to think of exactly what I was doing and feeling as each time period was discussedI actually took a short break from reading this book to read a children s novel about I am madly in love with Wendy Wasserstein in that oh em geeour plays rock my world kind of way so reading Wendy and the Lost Boys by Julie Salamon was a no brainer I should give Tales from a Pilots Logbook you a bit of background firstAbout. Rate executive at a time when Fortune 500 companies were an impenetrable boys club Their brother Bruce became a billionaire superstar of the investment banking world Yet behind the family’s remarkable success was a fiercely guarded world of private tragediesWendy perfected the family art of secrecy while cultivating a densely populated inner circle Her long time friends included theater elite such as playwright Christopher Durang Lincoln Center Artistic Director André Bishop New York Times theater critic Frank Rich the many women of the theater for whom she served as both mentor and ally and countless others Yet almost no one knew that Wendy was pregnant when at age forty eight she was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital to deliver Lucy Jane three months premature The paternity of her daughter remains a mystery At the time of Wendy’s tragically early death less than sixears later very fe. I started by skimming this book and then I half decided I wouldn t bother reading the whole thing Then I started it this morning and couldn t decided I wouldn t bother reading the whole thing Then I started it this morning and couldn t it I wouldn t bother reading the whole thing Then I started it this morning and couldn t put it How lucky for Miss Wendy to grow up in the lap of privilege which sure doesn t hurt when ou want to pursue a career in the arts That and having a brother who is rich as Croesus The children were sickly for the most part an elder sister died of brain cancer an even older brother had been spirited off as a child with alleged retardation Wendy died of varied forms of leukemia and her brother died of a heart attack To my knowledge that leaves one sister leftI identified so much with the decades of growing and development The confused role for women in college in the sixties I watched an interview on You Tube with one of her Mount Holyoke classmates and she was recalling and this is so true of how hard it was to graduate then with all of the upheaval on campus and in life She didn t spell it out but she didn t have to for me Riots constant cultural change having to evacuate classrooms due to bomb scares that happened than ou would believe Then ou were dumped into that world and to do whatThe author Julie Salamon wrote some beautifully constructed sentences that could have been out of Edith Wharton s New York Describing a summer weekend on Nantucket with the Washington Post Graham s and the snafus over dinner plans Salamon writes She kept changing the date for her Nantucket visit This was of conseuence in a milieu where social arrangements were handled with the kind of nervous attention usually reserved for matters involving delicate international diplomacy Chance was not a welcome guest at the table You could have ripped that passage out of The Age of Innocenceand her final words on Wendy s life and legacy Until the end Wendy Wasserstein took comfort in being part of a larger entity the self defined generation that had created a unified consciousness from a mass marketed set of cultural references Among Wendy s last works was an essay called Baby Boomers published in The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2004 in which she addressed the hubris of the Peter Pan generationThe thing about being a baby boomer is somewhere we still believe that no one is going to do it better than we did she wrote No one will be better than the Beatles no one will be glamorous than Jack Kennedy no time will be as turbulent as the late 60 s no parents will be a s difficult as ours were and no psyches will be as interesting as oursShe continued to aim for immortality even as she mocked her own desire Because boomers came of age in a world fascinated by them and partially created for them we are often not the most cooperative when it comes to aging she wrote We are in fact at the forefront of not just aging gracefully at all Against all odds we will hold back the hands of timeAs Wendy wrote those words she must have sensed that the clock was ticking she was already desperately ill She never grew old but she lived long enough to watch her generation begin to fossilize guarding it s accumulated memories and possessions asserting it historical preeminence as fiercely as every generation that had come before Even as a child it seems she had understood that all relationships ambitions politics hopes worries pains ruminations and dramatizations could command passionate attention one day and then vanish the next Every bright shining beacon would be extinguished and replaced the same as tyrants and fools But she was a gentle social critic clarifying the pretensions of her peers and expressing frustration at their hypocrisies and self deceptions while showing tender appreciation for their frailities and conveying genuine empathy for the desire and uncertainty that made them human That was her gift to the world she tried to make her own I was a huge fan of Wendy Wasserstein I saw the Heidi Chronicles on Broadway with my four best high school chums shortly after we graduated from college I also saw the Sisters Rosenzweig some time later I studied her plays for acting class I met her briefly a couple of times and es she did look homeless I also had the occasion to meet Bruce several times And boy was Salomon s take on him pitch perfect I say all of this as a sort of disclaimer and I am a huge
name dropper because I felt as if I knew Wendy whendropper because I felt as if I knew Wendy when was reading the book I lapped up every word I love reading about people who choose an artistic life when that is something so obviously not encourage in their family I loved reading about Wendy and Meryl Streep and Terrance McNally and Christopher Durang in their early careers I loved reading about Wendy s struggle Winner of the Pulitzer Prize the first woman playwright to win a Tony Award Wendy Wasserstein was a Broadway luminary But with her high pitched giggle and unkempt curls she projected an image of warmth and familiarity Everyone knew Wendy Wasserstein Or thought they did In Wendy and the Lost Boys Salamon delicately pieces together the many fractured narratives of Wendy’s life the stories often contradictory that she shared amongst friends and family the half truths of her plays and essays the confessions and camouflage present even in her own journal writing to reveal Wendy’s most expertly crafted character herself Born in Brooklyn on October 18 1950 to Polish Jewish immigrant parents Wendy was the oungest of Lola and Morris Wasserstein’s five children Her mother had big dreams for her children and they didn’t disappoint Sandra Wendy’s glamorous sister became a high ranking corpo.