The cast of Rapture, Blister, Burn, a Readers’ Theater production playing this Thursday and Friday at The Merc Playhouse in Twisp: from left, Dani Reynaud, Danielle Micheletti, Jason Paulsen, Laurelle Walsh and Midge Cross. Photo by Ashley Lodato

The cast of Rapture, Blister, Burn, a Readers’ Theater production playing this Thursday and Friday at The Merc Playhouse in Twisp: from left, Dani Reynaud, Danielle Micheletti, Jason Paulsen, Laurelle Walsh and Midge Cross.
Photo by Ashley Lodato

By Ann McCreary

Funny and thought-provoking, the play Rapture, Blister, Burn at The Merc Playhouse explores the age-old question — what do women really want?

“It’s modern, spicy,” said Ashley Lodato, who directs the Readers’ Theater production that will be presented Thursday and Friday (April 17 and 18).

Set in a small New England college town, the play focuses on Catherine and Gwen, college friends who make completely opposite choices about their lives after graduate school. Catherine becomes a prominent academic, while Gwen becomes a wife and mother.

Decades later, unfulfilled in polar opposite ways, each woman covets the other’s life, so they swap places for a summer. In this game of musical chairs, Catherine inherits Gwen’s porn-watching, pot-smoking husband, Don, who also happens to be her former boyfriend.

A new look at the longstanding debate about career versus family, Rapture, Blister, Burn, written by Gina Gionfriddo, “tackles the feminist question” in today’s terms, Lodato said.

“But even if there were not topical issues being addressed in the play, it would be really interesting. It’s a little farcical in that they switch lives, but all the rest is pretty plausible,” Lodato said.

The dialogue is “funny, witty and caustic,” Lodato said. The play also contains plenty of mature topics and profanity. “It’s definitely an adult comedy,” Lodato said.

The Merc production features Danielle Micheletti, Laurelle Walsh, Jason Paulsen, Midge Cross and Dani Reynaud.

The production begins at 7 p.m. and admission is by donation. For more information, call 997-7529.