Playwright Sarah Ruhl is wowing the coasts with low tech entertainment about the newest trends in electrical intimacy and personal dependence on technology. After titillating Berkeley Rep audiences with her “vibrator play,” Ruhl’s new comedy, "Dead Man's Cell Phone" opens this weekend (May 9) at The San Francisco Playhouse.
According to Victorian medical wisdom circa 1878, there is no connection whatsoever between sexuality and pleasure. Goodness no. An orgasm was described as a medicinal paroxysm and thus the successful conclusion of a medically-controlled doctor assisted therapy. This disconnect between mind and body is the crux of Sarah Ruhl’s “In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play,” at Berkeley Rep.
Any play with the word vibrator in the title and Victorian ladies dropping their knickers and leaping onto the orgasm table is well on its way to a being both a sure-fire hit and a resounding crowd-pleaser. And indeed, the play, a world premiere, is certainly a reliable stimulator. Which is not to say that the experience is wholly satisfying.