Last night I saw In the Next Room with Nick, Drew, and Michael at the ACT Theatre. It was a rip-roaring comedy that takes place around the 1880s just after the dawn of electricity. The story revolves around the treatment of female hysteria with the newly created medical device: the vibrator.
I love shows like this because while being entertaining, they expose you to a bit of history you might not be familiar with. I’d no idea before hearing about the show that “hysteria” was a recognized medical symptom, or that vibrators when they were first introduced were quite respectable (with ads appearing in Needlecraft, Modern Woman, and Woman’s Home Journal) — quite a change from today’s view.
Mixed in with the comedy are some more poignant themes that the modern audience can relate to: loving someone that goes against society’s accepted norm, unrequited love, and a couple who love each other but are not sexually satisfied in their marriage. I found the first act to be funny whereas while there are most certainly funny parts in the second act, it also resolves (or leaves unresolved) some of the more serious themes making for some somber moments.
I thoroughly enjoyed the show and would recommend it to any locals. The run is just now starting so go buy your tickets now.