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BWW Review RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN at Zoetic Stage


You know that the grass is always greener, that the jealousy dragon has bright green eyes, that you can't go home again, that your generation is the only one that got it right, don't you? Of course you do.

But I bet that until you see Zoetic's RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN you won't know that playwright Gina Gionfriddo mixed those clichéd little gems into a witty, engrossing tale of Hey, We're Human; We Make Mistakes.

Three hard drinking New England grad student buddies, Catherine, Gwen and Don. Catherine and Don are a couple until Catherine makes a career move to London. Don stays behind and is inherited by Gwen.

Twenty years later and the stay at homes are married with two kids and Catherine is all over everywhere as a still single, successful writer of all things woman.

And then Catherine gets drunk one night and phones the married couple. Big reunion and Gianfriddo pulls tight the strings of everything that might have been. The clichés are real, the regrets, the mistakes, the tenderness.

Mia Matthews is 42 years old Catherine, the career girl who returns to New England when her eternally optimistic mother, Alice, (Barbara Bradshaw) survives a heart attack. Catherine is the catalyst, successful, alone, always wondering. Margery Lowe plays Gwen, reluctant recovering alcoholic, chattering, frantically funny, isolated from husband Don, not knowing what matters. Todd Allen Durkin plays Don, the not quite winning academic. He's a bored, beer drinking porn addict who prefers sex with flashing pictures. Lexi Langs is Avery, 21 years old, ex baby sitter, foul mouthed and determined not to be owned by anyone.

As this is Zoetic Stage the production is slick, the set terrific, the direction just right and the ensemble casting exemplary. Barbara Bradshaw, Todd Allen Durkin, Lexi Langs, Margery Lowe, Mia Matthews.

Smooth direction from Stuart Meltzer, who also designed the sound. And speaking of sound, clarity was lost at times in the quieter moments and when the actors turned upstage. Michael McKeever designed the imaginative multi level four unit set. Check the symbolic four overhead wooden ladders, one for each woman's journey through life. Lighting design by Rebecca Montero and costumes by Meylin Rojas.

Zoetic Stage's RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN plays through January 31 at the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami. 305-949-6722

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From This Author Roger Martin