Aurora Theatre‘s insanely fantastic, much-acclaimed Rapture, Blister, Burn was the reason for our 23rd Meetup, and did it live up to our expectations! 2013’s Pulitzer Prize finalist is every bit the scorcher we’d expected it to be – and then some!
Bay Area News Group’s Karen D’Souza is all praise for playwright Gina Gionfriddo and director Desdemona Chiang: “As she did in the rollicking romp “Becky Shaw,” Gina Gionfriddo once again explores the volatility of female power in this Pulitzer-nominated comedy. A nakedly funny homage to Wendy Wasserstein’s iconic “The Heidi Chronicles,” this is a sharply observed portrait of middle aged ennui that rambunctiously refutes the notion of women “leaning in” without falling apart. In its regional debut at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre Company, director Desdemona Chiang astutely hits all the punch lines without sacrificing the depth and nuance of the characters.”
The performances have also received ecstatic reviews. Jennifer Wong of The Daily Californian calls the cast “magnificent” and that it “brings to life this battleground of feminist ideas in Gionfriddo’s script but also transcends it, bringing the audience a beautifully nuanced case study of the human spirit searching for purpose and fulfillment.”
Robert Hurwitt of SFGate has this to say of the three female leads: Marilee Talkington‘s “frazzled, forceful performance embodies a restless intelligence and sexuality wrestling with an existential crisis of self-doubt”, Rebecca Schweitzer‘s performance “a model of hyper-faux-enthusiasm”, Lillian Bogovich’s and Nicole Javier’s Avery “is the fresh, not to mention caustic, breeze of youth, challenging – and judging – her elders as she copes with some bracing mating and sex-role problems of her own.”
Marilee was right when she said this wasn’t “an absurdist comedy, but a super frickin’ smart, incredibly provocative, fast moving, brain tickling and heart tugging” play.
If you saw the play with us tonight, or plan to soon, leave us a note and share your shout-outs to the women involved in this production: Lillian Bogovich – Alice; Nicole Javier – Avery; Rebecca Schweitzer* – Gwen; Marilee Talkington* – Catherine; Gina Gionfriddo – Playwright; Desdemona Chiang – Director; Heather Basarab – Lighting Designer; Kate Boyd – Set Designer; Megan McClintock* – Stage Manager; Ashley Rogers – Costume Designer; Kirsten Royston– Properties; Alicia Coombes– Wardrobe; Anya Kazimierski – Scenic Artist.
PS: You can read more reviews here.