Archive for September 24th, 2015

Wendy Wasserstein’s 1981 coming-of-age comedy ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ explores questions that still resonate today

September 24, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Sept. 24, 2015

Because — full disclosure — a friend of mine plays a role in the new Cary Players production of Isn’t It Romantic, I went to see the revival of Wendy Wasserstein’s 1981 comedy on opening night at the Cary Arts Center.

The show is quite enjoyable, mixing humor and pathos as it shows Janie and her longtime friend, Harriet, negotiating the compromises and sacrifices that they must make in their work and personal lives after moving back to New York City in their late 20s. Harriet, who as the show opens is a freshly minted Harvard M.B.A. on the verge of being hired by the Colgate company, is career-driven, much like her mother. In fact, a key question she faces is how much she wants to follow the trail blazed by her mother, Lillian, a successful business executive and single parent — which would have made her something about as unusual as a unicorn in the 1960s and ’70s.

This cake was displayed in the lobby of the Cary Arts Center during the premier of the Cary Players production of “Isn’t It Romantic” by Wendy Wasserstein on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015.

This cake was displayed in the lobby of the Cary Arts Center during the premier of the Cary Players production of “Isn’t It Romantic” by Wendy Wasserstein on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015.

Janie isn’t exactly certain what she wants. For months after she moves into her downtown Manhattan apartment, she puts off unpacking. She begins a romance with Marty, a sweet doctor whose father is a schlocky restaurateur (and possible arsonist), but she drags her feet whenever he expresses interest in moving in together, getting married and starting a family.

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