Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rapture, Blister, Burn

"Rapture, Blister, Burn" at Playwrights Horizons, May 26, 2012

Pulitzer prize nominee Gina Gionfriddo returns Off-Broadway with a sharp look at feminism, presented in a semi-scholarly love triangle.  Catherine (Amy Brennerman) has returned to take care of her mother (Beth Dixon) after a heart attack, also in the same town where her college ex-boyfriend Don (Lee Tergesen) now serves as a dean at a local liberal arts college and is married to Catherine's college roommate Gwen (Kelley Overbey). 

In college, Catherine chose a life of academia and has published several high profile books on popular culture and the role of women.  Gwen never finished her degree, taking the path of wife and mother, instead.  Don, once with great scholarly potential and a desire to teach, has fallen into the path of inertia, working only as hard as he needs to, to make ends meet.  His position as dean pays better than teaching, yet requires less mental engagement to get the job done. 

Catherine's arrival at home finds her at loose ends, thinking that her mother's heart attack signals her end sooner than later.  With no other life partner, she's looking for something to hold onto.  Don offers her a job teaching at the college.  Her first class is a seminar studying concepts put forth by Betty Friedan and Phyllis Schlafly, among others.

It's an interesting exploration as Catherine reconsiders her own life through the lens of Friedan and Schlafly, with color commentary from her mother.  Ms. Gionfriddo walks a fine line between story and women's studies. Director Peter DuBois maintains this compelling tale with a lot of laughs even though most of the plot points are well-telegraphed early on.  Even when you see it coming, the major plot twist still works.

Ms. Brennerman's Catherine stumbles and flounders through her reconciliation of deciding where her life will go next.  The term "honest" keeps coming to mind as I think about her performance.  Ms. Overbey's Gwen has mastered the art of passive aggressive, wielding her successful abstention from alcohol like a weapon.  Mr. Tergesen's Don is not quite so well-drawn, filling in more as a foil for the women around him.  Virginia Kull (recently seen in Assistance at PH), fills up her role as Avery , Don and Gwen's "Generation Now" babysitter, who finds much of the Friedan/Schlafly arguments inane in the 21st century with the self-righteous assurance of a 21 year old.

Alexander Dodge fits a lot of scenery onto the modest PH stage, borrowing a bit of shingled siding from Allen Moyer's set from Grey Gardens.

See this one while you can.

Rapture, Blister, Burn runs through June 24.  See my earlier post for discount ticket information.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Playwrights Horizons Discount offer


Regular run:
May 18-June 24, Tues 7, Wed-Fri at 8, Sat at 2:30 & 8pm, Sun at 2:30 & 7:30pm
Additional Monday evening performance June 11 at 7pm.

Order by June 5 and use the code RBBLOG [note two B’s]
$40 (reg. $70) for all performances May 18-27
$50 (reg. $70) for all other performances May 29-June 24


Call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 Noon to 8PM daily
In Person: Ticket Central Box Office, 416 W. 42nd Street between 9th & 10th Avenues

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A Letter From The Bishop


Shameless Self-Promotion

I will be playing the role of Father John in the New York reading of A Letter From The Bishop by Tony Adams.

The reading will be held at St. Clement's Theater, 423 W 46th St., in Hell's Kitchen on Monday, June 11, 2012 @ 7 pm.

Free admission, but reservations are strongly suggested: here.

Check out the site Tony has set up with a few more details: http://aletterfromthebishop.blogspot.com/