Growing Up Is Hard to Do

Still uncommon, after 30 years on the brink of womanhood

Most important, witness Samantha (Erin Joy Schmidt) falling in love with the man she'll later marry (the audience never meets him). She says some interesting things about it that maybe tell us more about Wendy Wasserstein than about women in general. Samantha's "a little talented at a lot of things," and her man, Robert, is apparently her superior. That's what she wants — to stand behind an exceptional man — and she wants it with all her heart: Schmidt's performance is the perfect picture of a woman who knows her mind even if her era makes her feel guilty about it.

And between her and Rita is a vast continuum of ambition into which all of Wasserstein's uncommon women fall. When the play returns to the reunion, Samantha, as you might expect, is satisfied, and Rita's still seeking. Save Samantha, they're all back to the pinched, poised selves they were at the beginning: compromised, faking it, already having to put on their brave faces at the advanced age of 28.

Details

Uncommon Women & Others Written by Wendy Wasserstein. Directed by Genie Croft. With Dania Aguero, Elda Elisa Brouwer, Annelise Collette, Valentina Izarra, Jaime Libbert, Sheri Martini, Marjorie O'Neill-Butler, Erin Joy Schmidt, and Katie Schwartz. Presented by the Women's Theatre Project through November 18 at Sixth Star Studios, 505 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 800-473-1928, or visit www.womenstheatreproject.com.

But Wasserstein was 26 when Uncommon Women was first performed, and she'd never been out of school. She was still, in a way, in the grip of the same senior-year fears and frustrations facing the girls she wrote about. As she aged, she probably didn't feel as deflated as these 28-year-olds look in Uncommon Women. People change as they get older; they want different things. But they never want more than they do when they're young, and if you're there, even if only through the time travel of theater, it's hard to look forward and see anything but betrayal.

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