Sisters In Law

Critics

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91 %

Reviews: 11

Audience

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Reviews: 0

“[A] funny … and moving tale of two women so similar and yet so different.” – NPR

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, in association with Elizabeth Weber, Dale Franzen (Hadestown) and Don Franzen, presents the West Coast Premiere of SISTERS IN LAW, starring Tovah Feldshuh (Golda’s Balcony, “The Walking Dead,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephanie Faracy (Hocus Pocus, The Great Outdoors with Dan Aykroyd and John Candy, “Sneaky Pete,” and “Modern Family”) as Sandra Day O'Connor.

This new production, based on Linda Hirshman’s New York Times bestseller, celebrates the friendship – and conflict – between two modern-day legends who became the United States Supreme Court’s first female justices. SISTERS IN LAW transcends party, religion, and culture with a tale of Democrat Ginsburg and Republican O'Connor, two polar opposites, as they grapple with matters of the law and personal belief.

Join us for a post-performance discussion on the dates below:

October 3rd
“Social Impact of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsberg: The Lives and Careers they Inspired”
Host: Anne Taylor Fleming, journalist
Guest: Abby Leiberman, co-founder of the Women’s Law Center

October 9th
“Talk-Back with the Cast and Creatives of Sisters in Law”
Host: Paul Crewes, Artistic Director of The Wallis
Guests: Cast and creatives of Sisters in Law

October 11th
“All Rise: Why judges Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sandra Day O’Connor are legal and cultural powerhouses and how we can further their legacy today”
Host: Dale Franzen, Sisters in Law producer
Guest: Diane Wayne, retired judge

Running Time: 90 minutes with no intermission.

This production is made possible in part by generous support from the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation.

Reviews

Cynthia Citron

The two actors, who give an absolutely stunning performance under the superb direction of Patricia McGregor, are Tovuh Feldshuh as Ruth and Stephanie Faracy as Sandra. Their performances are enhanced by the exceptional scenic design of Rachel Myers and the projection design of Yee Eun Nam, who keep everything moving swiftly and smoothly by providing moving images in black and white on the screen in the background.

This play is a must-see, especially if you've seen the recent documentaries of the notorious RBG. You'll love seeing her in person, represented by the fabulous and ubiquitous Tovah Feldshuh, and you'll enjoy the relationship and dialog between the two Supremes.

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

During the thought-provoking 90-minute play, made even more visually intense via attention-grabbing historical projections of news headlines to forward the progression of time on Rachel Myers exquisitely transformational scenic design, Feldshuh and Faracy fully embody not only the physical presence of Ginsburg and O'Connor but also their dependency on each other to get their voices heard over the gender-biased male members of the Court.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Sisters in Law allows us to eavesdrop on the inside talk between Ginsburg and O’Connor—and to hear them gossip about some of their fellow justices like Thomas and Alioto. Some of their catty remarks are juicy and allow the playwright to inject a little humor into the text, which is shot through with legal arguments. Also, the time-span here is wide, making for a large number of short, staccato-like scenes (greatly enabled, though, by Rachel Myers’s clever, swift-changing set).

Feldshuh and Faracy excel in their roles as warring justices whose friendship—make that love for each other—is a rare and touching thing.

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

Shapiro has excelled in depicting a long and intricate relationship within the confines of a 90-minute play. Many scenes are brief — vignettes that portray the women’s everyday lives — but the pace slows down when it needs to, for the most pivotal moments. Further, the relationship between the women is presented carefully and thoughtfully, resulting in our emotional investment in how their story unfolds.

sweet - Nikki Munoz - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

Everything about this play is spot-on. The perfect combo of elements brings us this very important topic—playwright (and former lawyer) Jonathan Shapiro; actresses Stephanie Faracy and Tovah Feldshuh, (who look just like the justices they’re portraying!,); director Patricia McGregor; set designer Rachel Myers; projection designer Yee Eun Nam; The Wallis being the theatre presenting this production; and even the location of Beverly Hills. It all works like just about nothing I’ve ever seen before.

sweet - Karen Salkin - It's Not About Me - ...read full review


Avatar

Faracy works with a twinkle in her eyes, the consummate 1950s hostess. Feldshuh works with a ferocity in her jaw, the consummate 1960s activist. Patricia McGregor (“Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole,” “Skeleton Crew”) directs, moving the many-seamed piece along seamlessly and giving it style.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

The balance of the production wisely emulates the playwright’s affection for simplicity, as the other creative artists took their cue from his approach. Patricia McGregor’s spot-on direction, Rachel Myers’ minimal settings and Yee Eun Nam’s projections that smoothly bridge scene changes with images of the parade of passing political eras, all contribute to the unencumbered presentation.

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar

The wonderful actresses (with help from costume designer Melissa Trn and hair and wig designer Judi Lewin) look and act uncannily like the justices they’re portraying. But the play as a whole doesn’t quite bring them to life; it oversimplifies them. At moments it reminded me of those feminist paper doll kits young girls are given: Smart Brunette With Glasses and the All-American Blonde on the Supreme Court.

sweet-sour - Margaret Gray - LA Times - ...read full review


Avatar

Shapiro has an impressive background as a television writer with credits extending over such notable series as The Firm, The Practice, and Boston Legal earning Emmys and other prestigious awards along the way.
But Sisters In Law is his first play, and frankly, it shows.

sweet-sour - Ernest Kearney- The TVolution - ...read full review


Avatar

Jonathan Shapiro’s Sisters In Law (based on the cleverly titled 2015 book by Linda Hirshman) is about the U.S. Supreme Court’s first two female justices and their relationship on and off the bench. In an irony of history rightwinger Ronald Reagan appointed the first woman to sit on the high court. Stephanie Faracy portrays Sandra Day O’Connor like the screen version of Doris Day wearing robes. The Arizonan comes across as a not too bright all American gal and goody two shoes, who really doesn’t stand up for what is right.

On the other hand, Clinton Supreme Court appointee Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Tovah Feldshuh) is a feisty East Coast Jew with a lifelong devotion to equal rights for women. If O’Connor is one of those people who go along to get along (for instance, according to the play she waffled on abortion rights), Ginsburg is cut more in the crusader mold and perceived as being “pushy.” (Which, as she correctly points out, is code for an anti-Semitic trope – calling Jews “pushy” is like labeling Blacks “uppity”).

sweet - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

Where O’Connor sought not to fix things but to uphold the law as she saw it, compromising principle in the face of realism, Ginsburg, called “Mother of the Feminist Movement,” was out to change the law, elevating egalitarian principle above settling for half-measures. Yet if sisterhood would be powerful, they needed each other, even if one moved at the pace of a tortoise and the other a hare. They both found solace and comfort in the feminism of the Biblical Book of Ruth, which they could quote by heart. And they could both see the sorry truth in SDO’s observation that “When it comes to gender equality, liberal men are in no hurry.”

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron

The two actors, who give an absolutely stunning performance under the superb direction of Patricia McGregor, are Tovuh Feldshuh as Ruth and Stephanie Faracy as Sandra. Their performances are enhanced by the exceptional scenic design of Rachel Myers and the projection design of Yee Eun Nam, who keep everything moving swiftly and smoothly by providing moving images in black and white on the screen in the background.

This play is a must-see, especially if you've seen the recent documentaries of the notorious RBG. You'll love seeing her in person, represented by the fabulous and ubiquitous Tovah Feldshuh, and you'll enjoy the relationship and dialog between the two Supremes.

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

During the thought-provoking 90-minute play, made even more visually intense via attention-grabbing historical projections of news headlines to forward the progression of time on Rachel Myers exquisitely transformational scenic design, Feldshuh and Faracy fully embody not only the physical presence of Ginsburg and O'Connor but also their dependency on each other to get their voices heard over the gender-biased male members of the Court.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Sisters in Law allows us to eavesdrop on the inside talk between Ginsburg and O’Connor—and to hear them gossip about some of their fellow justices like Thomas and Alioto. Some of their catty remarks are juicy and allow the playwright to inject a little humor into the text, which is shot through with legal arguments. Also, the time-span here is wide, making for a large number of short, staccato-like scenes (greatly enabled, though, by Rachel Myers’s clever, swift-changing set).

Feldshuh and Faracy excel in their roles as warring justices whose friendship—make that love for each other—is a rare and touching thing.

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

Shapiro has excelled in depicting a long and intricate relationship within the confines of a 90-minute play. Many scenes are brief — vignettes that portray the women’s everyday lives — but the pace slows down when it needs to, for the most pivotal moments. Further, the relationship between the women is presented carefully and thoughtfully, resulting in our emotional investment in how their story unfolds.

sweet - Nikki Munoz - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

Everything about this play is spot-on. The perfect combo of elements brings us this very important topic—playwright (and former lawyer) Jonathan Shapiro; actresses Stephanie Faracy and Tovah Feldshuh, (who look just like the justices they’re portraying!,); director Patricia McGregor; set designer Rachel Myers; projection designer Yee Eun Nam; The Wallis being the theatre presenting this production; and even the location of Beverly Hills. It all works like just about nothing I’ve ever seen before.

sweet - Karen Salkin - It's Not About Me - ...read full review


Avatar

Faracy works with a twinkle in her eyes, the consummate 1950s hostess. Feldshuh works with a ferocity in her jaw, the consummate 1960s activist. Patricia McGregor (“Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole,” “Skeleton Crew”) directs, moving the many-seamed piece along seamlessly and giving it style.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

The balance of the production wisely emulates the playwright’s affection for simplicity, as the other creative artists took their cue from his approach. Patricia McGregor’s spot-on direction, Rachel Myers’ minimal settings and Yee Eun Nam’s projections that smoothly bridge scene changes with images of the parade of passing political eras, all contribute to the unencumbered presentation.

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar

The wonderful actresses (with help from costume designer Melissa Trn and hair and wig designer Judi Lewin) look and act uncannily like the justices they’re portraying. But the play as a whole doesn’t quite bring them to life; it oversimplifies them. At moments it reminded me of those feminist paper doll kits young girls are given: Smart Brunette With Glasses and the All-American Blonde on the Supreme Court.

sweet-sour - Margaret Gray - LA Times - ...read full review


Avatar

Shapiro has an impressive background as a television writer with credits extending over such notable series as The Firm, The Practice, and Boston Legal earning Emmys and other prestigious awards along the way.
But Sisters In Law is his first play, and frankly, it shows.

sweet-sour - Ernest Kearney- The TVolution - ...read full review


Avatar

Jonathan Shapiro’s Sisters In Law (based on the cleverly titled 2015 book by Linda Hirshman) is about the U.S. Supreme Court’s first two female justices and their relationship on and off the bench. In an irony of history rightwinger Ronald Reagan appointed the first woman to sit on the high court. Stephanie Faracy portrays Sandra Day O’Connor like the screen version of Doris Day wearing robes. The Arizonan comes across as a not too bright all American gal and goody two shoes, who really doesn’t stand up for what is right.

On the other hand, Clinton Supreme Court appointee Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Tovah Feldshuh) is a feisty East Coast Jew with a lifelong devotion to equal rights for women. If O’Connor is one of those people who go along to get along (for instance, according to the play she waffled on abortion rights), Ginsburg is cut more in the crusader mold and perceived as being “pushy.” (Which, as she correctly points out, is code for an anti-Semitic trope – calling Jews “pushy” is like labeling Blacks “uppity”).

sweet - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

Where O’Connor sought not to fix things but to uphold the law as she saw it, compromising principle in the face of realism, Ginsburg, called “Mother of the Feminist Movement,” was out to change the law, elevating egalitarian principle above settling for half-measures. Yet if sisterhood would be powerful, they needed each other, even if one moved at the pace of a tortoise and the other a hare. They both found solace and comfort in the feminism of the Biblical Book of Ruth, which they could quote by heart. And they could both see the sorry truth in SDO’s observation that “When it comes to gender equality, liberal men are in no hurry.”

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review