An American Daughter was a unique experience for playwright Wendy Wasserstein. After scoring critical and box office bull's-eyes with Uncommon Women And Others, Isn't It Romantic, The Heidi Chronicles and The Sisters Rosensweig, Wasserstein's lucky streak was broken by Daughter's arrival on Broadway. Critics found the plot far-fetched; audiences didn't materialize.
The show has been getting several regional mountings, which has no doubt given the playwright further perspective on the piece. As such, Wasserstein revised the show for its current staging at New Haven, CT's Long Wharf Theatre, ending its scheduled run May 16 after starting previews March 30 and officially opening April 7.
Daughter ends the Stage II season; The Importance of Being Earnest runs on the Long Wharf mainstage until June 6, when that season ends as well.
An American Daughter concerns a doctor nominated for U.S. Surgeon General, but when a minor infraction involving jury duty snowballs into a media circus, her political life is shattered. The situation somewhat resembles the story of real-life Attorney General nominee Zoe Baird.
Daughter's 1997 Broadway incarnation featured Kate Nelligan, Hal Holbrook, Peter Riegert and Lynne Thigpen. Derek Anson Jones, who staged off-Broadway's hit, Wit, directs An American Daughter at Long Wharf. Janet Zarish stars, alongside Tricia Paoluccio, Denise Burse, Robert Emmet Lunney, Kathleen Butler, Bo Foxworth, William Cain, Ian Pfister and Marydell Merrill. Designing the show are Tom Lynch (sets), Ilona Somogyi (costumes), Matt Frey (lighting) and Robert Murphy (sound).
American Daughter tickets ($10-$43) are available by calling the box office at (203) 787 4282.
-- By David Lefkowitz