When Wendy Wasserstein died on January 30, 2006, at age fifty-five, hers was a rare obituary considered important enough to make the front page of the New York Times. Her memorial service, held in the 1,060- seat Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center, packed the house. The overflow was siphoned into a theater across the street at the Julliard School, where an additional five hundred fans joined the other mourners via video monitors.
Strangers wept and columnists eulogized. She was remembered as a significant playwright, but also as a quintessential New Yorker, the toast of the tough and glamorous metropolis. She had an uncanny ability to know almost every major player in theater, publishing, and politics, right up to the White House. Because she wrote about women and the subjects that concerned them, she was designated a feminist. But with Wasserstein everything, including politics, tended to be personal.
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