Patio Playhouse Community Theater will present “The Sisters Rosensweig” by Wendy Wasserstein, opening Friday, May 4.
This comedy, set in 1991, drops us solidly in Sara Goode’s drawing room in London on her 54th birthday, as she awaits the arrival of her two sisters, Gorgeous and Pfeni. Add in the unexpected arrival of a handful of guests (the whip-smart daughter, an ostentatious theater director, a working-class boy primed to take Sara’s teenage daughter abroad, a “fun furrier” from Brooklyn, and Sara’s priggish banker boyfriend) — and, well, we are off and running into a spectacle of wit and humor before you can even say, “Sweetsie, there’s always activity in this house!”
Set in a time when the states of the Soviet Union were beginning to declare their independence and the widespread panic of AIDS influenced relationships and social interactions, this show is nevertheless an uproarious comedy highlighting the intersection of the lives of the three sisters Rosensweig and their guests as they join together to take stock of the milestones of life passing by.
As is quickly evident, the paths of the sisters have diverged — Sara Goode (Linda Englund) is an international banker, Dr. Gorgeous Titlebaum (Marnie Klein) hosts a call-in talk show offering advice, and Pfeni Rosensweig (Bonnie Antonini) is a world-traveling writer — but their shared Jewish roots in Brooklyn unite them as they manage to spin comedy out of life’s trials alongside flamboyant Geoffrey (David Guthrie), pragmatic Merv (JJ Rowley), pompous “Thatcher MP” Nick Pym (Paul Uhler), headstrong daughter Tess (Janelle Urie) and her good-natured boyfriend Tom (Alex Contreras.)
Whether debating politics or taking a chance on love, the cast ably demonstrates the love-hate relationships between family members and romantic partners, while revealing the universal struggle to define a sense of self.
“The Sisters Rosensweig” was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play 25 years ago, but still remains relevant in terms of its story today, with a focus on the human connection we have with one another as well as the unique culture innate to Brooklyn Jewish families. Best of all, the play highlights the enduring optimism that one may find their purpose, and maybe even love, at any age.
Patio Playhouse’s “The Sisters Rosensweig” is partnering with Jewish Family Service of San Diego for the duration of the production via an awareness drive. Jewish Family Service of San Diego is an organization that has been working to build a stronger, healthier, more resilient San Diego since 1918. JFSSD offers a wide range of services to help families and individuals to meet financial, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual health challenges.
Programs include Food Assistance, Employment, Aging and Wellness, Youth Connections, Refugee and Immigration Services and others. For more information about JFSSD, visit the organization website at www.jfssd.org/. Patio Playhouse is also a partner of the San Diego Theatre Connection, a group that fosters and supports service opportunities between arts organizations and nonprofit partners around San Diego County; the San Diego Theatre Connection can be found on Facebook and Instagram.
Tickets: Performances of “The Sisters Rosensweig” will begin on Friday, May 4 and continue through Sunday, May 27. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 8 p.m. with afternoon performances on Sundays at 2 p.m.
All shows will be presented at Patio Playhouse, located at 116 South Kalmia Street, Escondido (between Vinz Wine Bar and Continental Deli). Tickets for this production are available for the cost of $18 for Adults, $15 for Seniors/Military/Students, and $10 for Youth 16 and under. Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For reservations, contact the Patio Playhouse box office at 760-746-6669, via email, or via the website at www.patioplayhouse.com. Directed by Samantha Goldstein. Produced by Steve Warrick. Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.