Jessica Hecht is best known for two television roles: the lesbian lover of David Schwimmer’s ex-wife in the long-running comedy “Friends,” and the married friend of the title character in the short running comedy “The Single Guy.”
Hecht spent many of the years since playing those roles in theater, both on and off Broadway. Notably, she earned a Tony nomination for her role as Beatrice in the 2010 revival of Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge.”
The Tonys may come a-courting again for her performance as Julie in Richard Greenberg’s “The Assembled Parties,” opening April 17 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in Manhattan. Julie is the matriarchal anchor of the Bascovs, a Jewish family that lives in a 14-room Central Park West apartment.
The action takes place on Christmas Day, 1980, and two decades later. It is Greenberg at his best — thoughtful, funny, emotional and above all intelligent. The play is about love and loss and family and, at a recent preview, the audience was sufficiently moved to give the cast a standing ovation.
Several days later Hecht spoke to The Arty Semite about wanting a bat mitzvah in a secular household, how a Yiddish Shakespearean actor convinced her to walk the boards and what it was like working as a nanny for George Wendt.
Curt Schleier: What was your reaction when you first saw “The Assembled Parties” script?