Winner of both a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize, Wendy Wasserstein fearlessly borrowed from her own personality when creating the protagonists of plays such as The Heidi Chronicles
, Old Money
and The Sisters Rosensweig
. These characters tended to be like herself -- intelligent, funny, liberal and immensely accomplished. The heroine of Third
, Wasserstein's last work before her untimely death at age 56, is similarly gifted ... but also smug, over-confident and dangerously shallow. Laurie Jameson is a professor at an elite liberal arts college and a steadfast feminist. When one of her students turns in a paper she finds far too good for such a "privileged white male" to have written, she starts a plagiarism investigation that quickly morphs into a review of her own prejudices. In no other play is Wasserstein as witty, as compassionate, or as critical of her own beliefs, as in Third
, the capstone to one of the most distinguished careers in Broadway history.
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