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The Wake Review - A Brilliant Play, Impeccable Acting

By Judith Orr

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Leigh Silverman (Director), Heidi Schreck (Ellen), Lisa Kron (Playwright)

The Wake opened at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in association with the Center Theatre Group & Berkeley Rep, in Culver City, California.

(L-R) Playwright Lisa Kron, CTG Artistic Director Michael Ritchie and Director Leigh Silverman pose during the party for the opening night performance of "The Wake" at the Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre on March 28, 2010

With The Wake, playwright Lisa Kron created a deep and poignant slice of life. This stunning play hits the audience in profound ways. No matter who you are there are lines in it that will haunt for days after.

Leigh Silverman, Director, brings a sensitive touch to the production. Each character in the play was perfectly cast and they brilliantly played off each other flawlessly.

Heidi Schreck (Ellen), Lisa Kron (Playwright)

Heidi Schreck was outstanding as the lead character Ellen, as she wholly transformed herself and brought all of us in with her.

After a Thanksgiving dinner with family, friends, politics & football a woman finds how one simple act can change her life dramatically and never again will it be the same.

Cast members Danielle Skraastad (L) and Andrea Frankle (R)

Lisa Kron (L) and Cast Member Emily Donahoe (R)


(L-R) Cast member Andrea Frankle, Playwright Lisa Kron and Cast Member Deirdre O'Connell

Cast Member Miriam F. Glover

The rest of the ensemble was Carson Elrod, Emily Donahoe, Andrea Frankle, Miriam F. Glover, Deirdre O’Connell and Danielle Skraastad.

Betty White Arriving to The Wake

A celebrity filled party with Betty White, Erick Atari, Laura Allen, Chad Faust, Greg Germann, Jennifer Hong, Danielle Kasen, Robert Lasardo, Joe Pacheco and Michael Dean Shelton followed the opening night

Actor Chad Faust Poses During the Arrivals

Actor Erick Avari Poses During the Arrivals


Actor Robert Lasardo (L) and actress Danielle Kasen (R) during arrivals

Actress Laura Allen Arriving

Michael Dean Shelton on Red Carpet

Lisa Kron received a Tony nomination as Best Actress for her performance in her play Well. Her other plays include 101 Humiliating Stories, Charity and Montecore, 43/13, and Martha. She is a founding member of the Obie and Bessie Award-winning theatre company The Five Lesbian Brothers, whose plays include Oedipus at Palm Springs, Brave Smiles, and The Secretaries.

“Elections. Breakups. Thanksgivings from hell. Lisa Kron’s new play follows a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown: Type-A journalist Ellen, whose certainty about politics and love gets blown out of the water…The Wake promises to generate plenty of conversation—no matter whom you voted for in the last election.”— LA Times

“Exquisite…a major American work for our time…The women’s scenes crackle with sensual fire, and the conundrum created—in which Ellen tries to protect her own stability while hurting neither lover—isn’t just an intensely modern take on relationship building. It’s also damn good playwrighting. Having assembled a superb ensemble with nary a weak link, helmer Leigh Silverman expertly manages a wealth of detail to persuade us these folks have known each other forever.”— Variety

“Ms. Kron is on a level with sterling monologists like Spalding Gray, autobiographers who combine novelistic complexity with stage smart impudence…Wonderfully evocative and often seriously funny, she sets off emotional vibrations that just won’t stop.”— New York Times

For information on Kirk Douglas Theatre and Center Theatre Group:

Published on Dec 31, 1969

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