The Very Best Of NYC Theatre (November 2009)

In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, She Like Girls, and more!

Hysteria was a real diagnosis, and a common one given to women in the Victorian age. Just as common was medical treatment with electrical stimulating machines, the vibrators of the day, to ease their condition. In Sarah Ruhl’s marvelously entertaining In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play at the Lyceum Theatre through Jan. 10, a young doctor is obsessed with the marvels of technology and what it can do for his patients. His wife, Catherine, is only a bystander in her husband’s world – listening at the door from the next room as he treats his female patients. Dr. Givings is not sure exactly how the vibrators help the women he treats – but they do keep coming back.

Working Man’s Clothes presents the world premiere production of She Like Girls at the Ohio Theater Dec. 1-30. Inspired by true events the play follows the story of Kia Clark, a black teen, as she struggles with brutal self-discovery in the face of a non-accepting, insular community where falling outside of the norm is difficult and dangerous. When Kia’s relationship with Marisol Feliciano moves from friendship to something more, the absence of understanding and respect in their volatile urban environment create ripples of vehement hate.

Tony and Academy Award nominee Lynn Red- grave stars in Nightingale at The Manhattan Theatre Club through Dec. 13. Her new solo show is inspired by her need to create a life for her maternal grandmother, a woman she barely knew, a promising woman stymied by soci- ety and all but erased by history. A touching personal tribute and a resounding song for all those people whose voices we’ve lost, or never known.

A dynamic all women of color cast sing, dance and fly with intensity and truth in Quiet Come Dawn premiering at Embody Dance. Yalini Dream’s moving piece of poetic light powerfully realized through Kiebpoli Calnek’s direction and aerial choreography tells the queer love story of Rook and Z, lovers who are living in a post-apocalyptic world where the birds are dying and humans require drugs and magic in order to live. This destruction has wounded them both and threatens the sacredness of their love. Quiet Come Dawn is an eloquent statement on the power of self-love and how struggle and survival can separate one from this most fundamental and necessary bond.

No holiday season is complete without the Tony Award® nominated hit musical Irving Berlin’s White Christmas playing at the Marquis Theatre now through Jan. 3. The musical tells the story of two showbiz buddies who put on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn, and find their perfect mates in the bargain. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a merry and bright theatrical experience for the entire family.

Dec. 3-20, check out Angry Young Women In Low-Rise Jeans With High-Class Issues landing at Theater for the New City for the holidays. This light-to-serious look at the psychology of nervous urban goddesses, parades a series of foxy, witty and anxious women who bear the expectations of the world like an itchy muffler. In a series of skits, the women go head to head with such issues as Electra complexes, bikini waxes, low- rise jeans, oversexed mothers, thongs, brazen teenagers, men’s sexual fantasies, side effects of birth control drugs, mean teenagers on the sub- way, sympathy sex and the artistic integrity of penises and vaginas in independent films.

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