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Friday, October 1, 2010

The Vibrator Play Once Again Shows Ruhl Is Among Our Best

It only has this weekend to go, but In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play would be worth the visit. Woolly Mammoth has $15 tickets that they sell two hours before curtain. Sarah Ruhl is one of the country's most important playwrights right now. I don't know if this is a great play, but some of her mechanisms and what she is trying to get at makes her pretty unique these days. Some of the play borders on farce with two doors in constant action - and the climaxes taking place in one room, while the other stays pretty sedate. The wall is an invisible one that disappears in the last act, similar a little bit to Stoppard's final scene in Arcadia, when the wall of time disappears so the characters can connect. We do care about Ruhl's characters. And the play is incredibly entertaining - witness the pleasure of the audience I was a part of. (Woolly is getting an amazingly young crowd these days - all the kudos go to them. Other theaters are very jealous.) Maybe the play just takes its time too much to get there, to the important conversations - and how many orgasms can we listen to. Interesting that after the Post criticized the Mexican ballet yesterday for frontal nudity on the women and not men - saying it's old hat -Ruhl goes the other way in the last scene. That's why she is so important right now. She is breaking rules and going her own way. We have a lot to look forward to from this playwright - and Woolly; their production looks and feels right on, with a terrific performance from newcomer Kate deBuys. Aaron Posner  is THE man in town now, directing-wise, having moved here this year. We are fortunate for that too.

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