The Body Electric

In the Victorian age, it was commonly known that women suffered from a mysterious nervous malady that doctors called “hysteria.” No connection was made, however, between said hysteria and the lack of sexual fulfillment in many marriages. In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play), Sarah Ruhl’s Tony-nominated play takes place in upstate New York in the 1880s, where the good-hearted Dr. Givings dedicates himself to the treatment of hysteria. He finds that a newfangled electrified machine, whose porcelain wand is applied to the patient’s nether regions, offers miraculous relief. Unicorn audiences will remember MacArthur Foundation recipient Ruhl from the theater’s production of Clean House in 2009. The Unicorn Theatre (3828 Main) tingles through February 13. A preview happens tonight at 7:30. The price of pleasure starts at $22.50. Call 816-531-7529 or see foreplay, er, for play information.— Grace Suh

Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Jan. 26. Continues through Feb. 13, 2011