A Satiric Waiting Room opens at Brooklyn College's Gershwin Theater

Victoria (Heather Collis), Wanda (Sabrina C. Cataudella) and Forgiveness (Eunjee Lee) page through the latest fashion glossies in Lisa Loomer's The Waiting Room.

February 27.    Lisa Loomer's comedy The Waiting Room, a darkly funny look at medical ethics and the dangers encountered on the path to beauty and perfection, hits the main stage at Brooklyn College's Gershwin Theater for ten performances, starting February 28 through March 10.

   The play begins as three women from different historical periods gather in the waiting room of a doctor's office. Victoria (Heather Collis) is a prim Nineteenth Century English woman wearing a bustle and trussed up in a whalebone corset. Because her husband believes she has "had too much education" and is prone to "hysterical" fits, he has arranged for her to have her ovaries removed. Forgiveness (Eunjee Lee) is a Chinese woman from the 1700s who is concerned that her tiny bound feet, which make her desirable in the eyes of men, have been giving her trouble (one of her toes has just fallen off). Finally, Wanda (Sabrina C. Cataudella) is a thoroughly modern woman from New Jersey who has had a lot of work done and is now suffering serious complications from her three breast augmentation surgeries.

Nurse Brenda (Anita Ahiadormey) introduces Wanda and Forgiveness to the simple joys of a well-turned cigar.

   Despite the serious nature of the subject, the play is full of earthy humor. It's also thought provoking. In the play each culture judges the practices of the other. The husband of the Chinese woman who adores his wife's bound feet, denounces the English as barbaric, while Victoria's husband, who wants her ovaries removed, denounces the Chinese as barbaric. The Twentieth Century doctor treating Wanda can scoff at alternative medicine, while doling out toxic experimental drugs to his patients.

   "The author doesn't think cancer is funny," says director Rose Burnett Bonczek, who heads up the Brooklyn College B.F.A. acting program, "but certainly provides laughter in juxtaposing time periods and points of view to comically, and tragically, show how so little has changed over time. It undoubtedly provokes more questions than it answers, but to me that is one of the many wonders of this play. It is provocative about questions that have no easy answers."

Forgiveness makes a not-so-subtle anatomical point to Victoria.

   The production features a large cast of student actors, including first-, second-, and third-year B.F.A. undergraduate acting students, and first- and second-year M.F.A. acting students. Performances of The Waiting Room are at 8 p.m., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and 2 p.m. for Saturday and Sunday matinees. Ticket prices are $10 for Thursday and Friday evenings and the Saturday matinee, $11 for Saturday evening and the Sunday matinees. Senior Citizen ticket prices are $9 for Thursday and Friday evenings and the Saturday matinee, $10 for Saturday evening and Sunday matinees. Student ticket prices are $9 for Thursday and Friday evenings and the Saturday matinee, $10 for Saturday evening and the Sunday matinee. $5.00 Student Rush Tickets are also available on Thursday and Friday evenings and for the Saturday matinee one hour prior to curtain (with student identification). For more information, call the Brooklyn Center Box Office, (718) 951-4500.

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