Rapture, Blister, Burn
Mad Cow Theater
By Gina Gionfriddo
Directed by Monica Long Tramborello
Starring Sarah French, Cynthia Beckert, and Patrick Brezyan
Speaking as a guy, it always seems like the bigger the looser, the more women flock around him. Let’s consider Don (Brezyan). A failed academic, he smokes pot, watches porn, and is incapable of writing a book which is the one thing that might get him an actual career. He’s currently married to Gwen (French) with a kid and twelve years under their marital belt. Gwen invite his old flame Catherine (Beckert) over for drinks, and soon the women are fighting over a guy they both know to be a loser.
There’s a small Greek chorus advising them: Avery (Devon Seaman) meets them as an abused babysitter and part time stripper. Then there’s Catherine’s mom Alice (Shami McCormick) who has lost men to death, but she still makes a mean pitcher of martinis. The driver of this bathroom-sink drama arises as Catherine teaches a class on the history of feminism to Avery and Gwen. This gives us a good background on the positions of Phyllis Schlafly and Betty Friedan and where their firebrand arguments got us. But as Alice points out: not everyone can go first in a marraige, so any couple needs a leader AND a follower. But in the end, everyone gets something they think they want, and they think their happy.
I cheered for both current and ex-lovers here. They each make a solid case, but our male football does little to help sort things out. He’s happy to have sex with two women, smoke dope, and aspire to mediocrity. The net result is a funny, biting comedy that revives the over wrought sexual liberation dramas from the last millennium and wrings a sold set of laughs and serious drive home conversations. Just be aware that drive might be a little strained. Just sayin’…