by Tony Award Winning Playwright

(L-R) Sue Mortenson, Claire Hart-Palumbo, Wendy Wasserstein, Joel Sandel and Rebecca Greene Udden

Directed by Ron Jones
April 16 through May 17, 1998

Main Street Theater at Chelsea Market
4617 Montrose Boulevard

Rebecca Greene Udden
Artistic Director


Tess Goode....................................Kimberly Sands-Galvez
Pfeni Rosensweig..........................Rebecca Greene Udden
Sara Goode........................................Claire Hart-Palumbo
Geoffrey Duncan..............................................Joel Sandel
Mervyn Kant.................................................Don Gardner
Gorgeous Teitelbaum.................................Sue Mortenson
Nicholas Pym.................................................John Kaiser
Tom Valiunus...............................................Ty Mayberry

The Sisters Rosensweig

The action of the play takes place in the drawing room of Sara Goode's London home.
Late August 1992



Describing THE SISTERS ROSENSWEIG, Wendy Wasserstein, a self-proclaimed Jewish feminist said, "This is neither a serious nor a comic play. It is hopefully both. The to find the balance between the bright colors of humor and the serious issues of identity, self-loathing, and the possibility for intimacy and love when it seems no longer possible, or sadder yet, no longer necessary." She received a 1993 Outer Critic's Circle Award and a Tony nomination for The Sisters Rosensweig, which premiered at Lincoln Center in 1992.

Wendy Wasserstein

In 1989, Wasserstein won the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Drama Desk awards for The Heidi Chronicles. She has written several off-Broadway plays (including Uncommon Women and Others), PBS "Great Performances" scripts, and screenplays, including House of Husbands with Christopher Durang, and An Object Of My Affection, starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston, which opens nationwide on April 17, 1998.

Main Street Theater's association with Wendy Wasserstein spans nearly twenty years, beginning with Uncommon Women and Others, which was produced by MST in 1979, revived in 1980, and produced again in 1986. In 1992, MST produced The Heidi Chronicles. MST Artistic Director Rebecca Green udden directed the 1979-80 productions of Uncommon Women and Others and The Heidi Chronicles, but The Sisters Rosensweig will mark her first on-stage role in a Wasserstein play, as Pfeni Rosensweig. According to Udden, this production marks the continuation of a two-decade commitment to women playwrights. "My goal has been to represent as many women's voices as men's in programming, and Wendy Wasserstein has been a large part of achieving that goal."


April 16th, 1998

by Theresa Hyde

Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden and Director Ron Jones

The Houston Theatre Community was well represented that evening, with the presence of Masquerade Theatre's Chris Jimmerson, Marcy Bannor, and Ty Mayberry, New Heights Theatre's Artistic Director Ron Jones and Claire Hart-Palumbo, and of course, Main Street's theatrical crew starting with Ms. Rebecca Greene Udden, Mark J. Roberts John Kaiser, and Joel Sandel. There was the white-icing on the cake, party champagne, and the very New York delicatessen Jewish-theme catering by The Bagel Manufactory.

As Gorgeous Teitelbaum would say, What a FUN-ZY Party!!!

Pterodactyls Director Chris Jimmerson comments on the show, "Oh, I enjoyed it! I loved it, it was great. Ty (Mayberry) did a great job, he was really funny. I loved the script, it was a lot of fun."

Main Street Theater's Rebecca Greene Udden

I finally got the chance to interview "Ms. Becky", Rebecca Greene Udden, Main Street Theater's Artistic Director. Because of my great admiration for this lady, I was a bit intimidated to meet her at first. She has directed numerous productions for MST, including The Witlings, Arcadia, The Miser, Oedipus The King, The Lucky Chance, Hamlet, Uncommon Women and Others, The Real Thing, and Pride and Prejudice (which she adapted to the stage). As an actress, she has appeared on MST's MainStage in Hapgood, Joined At The Head, and Hamlet. She has also directed for regional educational television as well as for other Houston theaters. She is the recipient of a JC Penney Spirit Award for outstanding achievement in the arts. Ms. Udden is a graduate of Rice University.

Surprisingly enough, there was no reason for me to be intimidated, she was sweet, humble, down-to-earth and so approachable. Tonight, she is playing Pfeni Rosensweig in the show.

Theresa: Why did you choose to present this play?
Rebecca: I'm a huge fan of Wendy Wasserstein's plays. She writes the best. They're great roles for women.

Theresa: Tell us about the part that you're playing......
Rebecca: Well, my part is Pfeni, the youngest sister, she's a journalist. She was a serious journalist and now she writes travel books. So, instead of doing any serious writing, she travels all over the world, and just does hotel reviews and that sort of thing......and she has come back to visit her sister, on the occassion of her sister's 54th birthday. She's had a long term relationship with a bisexual man. So, she's made the mistake of thinking that she could change this guy.

Rebecca Greene Udden plays Pfeni Rosensweig and Joel Sandel who plays Geoffrey Duncan

Theresa: I have great admiration for you and your accomplishments with Main Street Theater. I was astounded with your 18th Century Masterpiece, The Witlings with those amazing costumes. And you now have two locations of Main Street, The Times Boulevard location and this one at Chelsea Market. How do you do it?
Rebecca: (laughs) Well, it's just a lot of people who work very hard. We have a great Company and a great staff, and what we do is fun!

Theresa: Why did you decide to do this, Main Street Theater?
Rebecca: Oh, it's just what I've done, all my adult life. At this point, I am fit for nothing else (laughs).

Theresa: How long have you been doing this?
Rebecca: Twenty-three years, we're moving into our twenty-four year in June. I do a little bit of everything, director, actor, costumer.........

Theresa: How did you start doing this?
Rebecca: My undergraduate degree was in Language but what I spent most of my time doing was Theater.
At first I was gonna be a costumer, but I don't know, I really wasn't suited for that. But I did get into directing, really enjoyed that. Always loved Acting, but when I was younger, I didn't really know enough about it and didn't feel like I was that good of an Actress (laughs). I learned from watching.....from watching the actresses that I have directed, I learned a lot about Acting in the last 20 years.
Theresa: What do you enjoy the most? Acting, Directing, Costuming, Building Sets.......
Rebecca: Building sets is my least favorite part (laughs). I love it all.....I really enjoy directing, I love acting, it's great fun, especially to do part like this, you know, and have people like it! Especially directed by Ron Jones.

Theresa: It looks like everyone's gathering at the lobby for the party. This is the part I absolutely love the most.

Don Gardner as Mervyn Kant and Claire Hart-Palumbo as Sara Goode

We meet Don Gardner and John Kaiser at the bar. Don Gardner plays Mervyn Kant in this show. He has appeared at MST in Six Degrees of Separation. Elsewhere, he has appeared with Houston Shakespeare Festival (hamlet), Actors Theatre of Houston (Talk Radio), the Dallas Shakespeare Festival (Romeo and Juliet), and in New York productions of Camino Real, Man and Superman, and The Long Valley. A native Houstonian who graduated from Bellaire High School, he has been acting for about 31 years. He served as Managing Director of Houston's Reunion Theatre. Mr. Gardner holds a B.F.A. from Southern Methodist University; he studied in New York with Stella Adler.

Theresa: Tell us about the part that you're playing.....
Don: Well, I play Merv, the role that was played by Robert Klein on Broadway. In a way, he's kinda like the angel of desire, he's bringing hope, and the possibility of love to a woman who hasn't thought about it in a long time.

Theresa: Why did you choose to be a part of this play?
Don: Well, I like Main Street Theater. I've worked here in the past, I was in Six Degrees of Separation. They're one of the professional theaters in town, they pay me something, and I believe in being paid to be an Actor. (laughs). And they do quality work, I'm a classically trained dramatic actor, and have some place to work!

The lovely Sue Mortenson

Sue Mortenson, who plays Gorgeous Teitelbaum looked so CHIC in her black outfit with matching black felt hat. Sue has appeared at MST in Marisol. Elsewhere, she has appeared with Stages (Back County Crimes), Theatre LaB Houston (Catholic School Girls), New Heights Theatre (Vieux Carre) and The Actors Workshop (Cementville, The Manchurian Candidate). Ms. Mortenson teaches dance exercise classes and is also a personal trainer.

Theresa: Tell us about the part that you're playing.......
Sue: It was such a great opportunity, because I am one of three sisters. I actually happen to be the oldest of three sisters, and this has been a wonderful opportunity for me to take a look at the dynamics that I found when I was growing up being played, with two sisters. It is absolutely the most fun role I've ever played.

Theresa: Wendy Wasserstein is just an amazing writer, and she writes for and about women. I just can't get enough of her.
Sue: She's so much fun. We had the chance to meet her and we did a scene for her. And she is so down-to-earth, so not-glamorous. It's interesting that she wrote about a woman that's over-dressed and soooo glamorous and gorgeous, and did too much.

Theresa: Tell us about your past acting background......
Sue: Well, I've been in Houston for seven years, and I've worked in most of the mid-size theatres and before that, I was in Miami, I travelled with a Repertory Company all around South Florida. I've been involved since I was eleven years old. So, that's a lot of years. Here in Houston, I've worked at Stages, Actors Workshop, Theatre LaB, I did a show at Theatre Lab called Catholic School Girls, which was my favorite part until I played this one. And in that one, I wore a red wig. And this one I'm wearing a blonde wig. So nobody ever knows that I was the actress.

Theresa: Why did you choose to become an actress?
Sue: I was always a child that was so "out there". I sorta took care of my parents, took care of my younger sisters and it just was a natural thing to me.

Theresa: ( I turned around and saw Main Street mainstay John Kaiser who plays Nicholas Pym). John Kaiser has appeared at MST in this season's Festival of One Act Plays as well as in An Enemy of the People, Arcadia, An Ideal Husband, and The Miser. Elsewhere, he has appeared with Country Playhouse (Sylvia), Theatre Southwest (Pack of Lies, A Company of Wayward Saints), Express Theatre (Alice in Wonderland), and in numerous readings and performances with Houston Scriptwriters. Mr. Kaiser holds an M.A. from the University of Michigan.

Mark J. Roberts and John Kaiser

John: Hi, I'm John Kaiser.....
Theresa: Tell us about the part that you're playing.....
John: Oh, I play the token anti-semite in the piece, although I don't consider myself an anti-semite. But if that's the way the play's written, that's what I am. The one WASP.

Theresa: You were just in another MST play right before this one, The Festival of One Acts. And you were played this Suave Italian guy complete with this huge gold chain necklace, and I just thought, "gosh, he can do anything...."
John: Oh, I try to do a lot of things. Also, I was in two plays in that. I was the police detective in Trifles. That was a great fun part to do. Well, they give me a lot of these small parts here because I can manage to find quarts of milk in them. I don't consider any part too small for me to wring something out of.

Theresa: Why did you choose to become a part of this particular play?
John: Because the rest of the cast is so great. Because they're all so perfect in their parts. It's a great show to be in, I mean the cast alone......I'm sure it's gonna be a big hit!!! Well, Becky (Rebecca Greene Udden) is in it too. Actually that's one reason why I did it. Cause she's like backstage. She forgets her lines, she gets mixed up on what clothes to wear and it's great to see her in that light. (laughs)

Theresa: (laughing) But she is amazing. You told me during our last interview with An Enemy of the People that I need to interview Rebecca because she is the Artistic Director and the driving force behind it all. And today, I got the chance to do that. This is all hers, and the other theatre as well.......

Sue Mortenson and Director Ron Jones

John: She's got a lot of good ideas and she personally held it together through changes of staff over the years and maintain a constant type of taste, which is partly hers. This show is in that vein, I think, it's not a comedy, it's not a spoof, it's sort of a tragedy, it's about Life, really. Becky's supposed to get her new plays next season and the Chances are Good!!!

Theresa: I also got a chance to talk to 29-year old Mark J. Roberts who played The Virtuous Burglar in A Festival of One Act Plays. Mark has appeared in numerous productions at MST, including Hapgood, Six Degrees of Separation, Misalliance, With and Without, The Trust, Red Scare on Sunset, and Chekhov in Yalta. He has also worked with New Heights Theatre (The Compelat Works of Shakespeare Abridged), Theater LaB Houston (Cakewalk, Assassins, Search and Destroy, Unidentified Human Remains....), Curtains (Fool for Love), the JCC (Conversations With My Father), Theatre San Jacinto, and Lamar Theatre. His role tonight for The Sisters Rosensweig is behind the scenes.

Mark: Yes, I build the Set. I am the Master Carpenter for Main Street, and I build all the sets, and I kinda work as the Supervisor for Construction.

Theresa: Tell us about your background in Theatre.....
Mark: I have a Bachelors in Theatre from Lamar University in Beaumont. Went for two years in San Jac here in town and I've been doing shows since I was.......I guess the first one I did was in Kindergarten.

Theresa: You were great as The Virtuous Burglar......
Mark: That was fun. It was a Dario Fo play, he actually won the Pulitzer Prize for that piece.

Theresa: Handsome Ty Mayberry who plays Tom Valiunus in this show of The Sisters Rosensweig, comes out from backstage in his T-shirt, carrying a backpack. He looks a lot more "buff" than I saw him last, his upper body is a lot more developed from lifting weights. I commented on his T-shirt and he says, "well, I didn't know there was gonna be a party!" Which shows that this is his first time at Main Street Theater. Everyone knows there's always a Party after every Premiere at Main Street. He last appeared in Masquerade Theatre's production of Pterodactyls. I was so impressed by his performance and stage presence, then, that I couldn't help but ask my first question......

Ty Mayberry and gorgeous blonde friend

Theresa: I've been dying to talk to you since our last interview. What's your phone number? (laughs)
Ty: (seems to know better, laughs, but does not answer)

Theresa: Tell us about the part that you're playing.....
Ty: This part, I can do no wrong. It's real brash, very outlandish character. He just needs to be different from the rest of the family. That's pretty much all. Which I've enjoyed this part more than anything I've done recently. I really enjoy it!

Theresa: You look a lot different since I saw you last......have you been keeping busy?
Ty: Well, not really....I've just been running to auditions and been out here doing this show. This show opened pretty fast, though. I've been out here for a month. Well.....I was only here for a month, they may have been here a long time. They don't tell me much here, they don't let me know very much (laughs). I try to get around to as many theaters as I can, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this place. I feel at home, I just love it.

Theresa: I walked outside to enjoy the cool morning breeze and to have a couple of glasses of champagne. I saw Joel Sandel and Mark Roberts having a small conversation under a tree. 37-year old Joel Sandel plays Geoffrey Duncan in The Sisters Rosensweig. He has appeared at MST in numerous productions, including Hapgood, Out of This World, An Ideal Husband, Sunday in The Park with George, Red Scare on Sunset, and Sweeney Todd. He has also appeared with New Heights Theatre (Vieux Carre), Theatre Lab Houston (Search and Destroy), Houston Shakespeare Festival (The Winter's Tale, Macbeth), The Westheimer Art Bar and Theater (The Secret Tapes of Jesus), Actors Theatre and Actors Workshop. Mr. Sandel studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles and The American Center for Musical Theater.

Joel Sandel and and Babyface Mark Roberts, armed with BudLite and beeper

Theresa: Tell us about the part that you're playing.......
Joel Sandel: I play Geoffrey Duncan who's a Theatre Director in London and he's involved with the youngest of The Sisters Rosensweig, Peni, but I renamed her Pfeni. The crux of the situation is that I claim bisexuality at the beginning of our relationship, and complications ensue.

Theresa: Tell us about your past acting background......
Joel: Main Street's been a very active staple in my life for the last eight years. I've done Sunday in The Park with Goerge and Red Scare on Sunset, which Mark was in also, it's a fabulous show. (Mark, next to him, laughs). I re-read the script the other day, and I was laughing! I've forgotten how funny that was. And I've done stuff, I just finished a show at Stages where I did Ascendancy (he played the part of Robert Golden). I worked at Chris Wilson for several years before I came over here, and then I was in Los Angeles going to school before that so.......

Pterodactyls Director Chris Jimmerson

Theresa: Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to interview the star of the show, Claire Hart-Palumbo who plays Ms. Sara Goode. Claire has worked at MST as a Director (Uncle Vanya, Red Scare on Sunset, Pride and Prejudice) and as an Actress (Arcadia and The Heidi Chronicles). As a founding company member of Stages Repertory Theatre, she has also worked at The Alley, Idaho Repertory Theatre, New Heights Theatre, Houston Shaw Festival, and Yale University. Her directing credits include The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), the Shakespeare farce, Good Night Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet, The Gin Game, Key Exchange, Talking With, The Learned Ladies, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Trained at the American Conservatory Theatre and the University of Texas, Ms. Hart-Palumbo teaches at the University of Houston Downtown.

The beautiful Kimberly Sands-Galvez who plays Tess Goode and Ty Mayberry as Tom Valiunus

Don't miss this amazing Main Street Production of The Sisters Rosensweig at 4617 Montrose Boulevard. Call the Box Office at 713-524-6706 and get a chance to meet all the talented, professional and fun personalities of Houston Theatre!!!