The play draws us in with the tension of competing narratives: the story as told by polished lawyer Sarah Weddington (Sarah Jane Agnew) who, along with Linda Coffee (a convincingly eccentric Susan Lynskey), argued the case; and the life and opinions of spunky Norma McCorvey (Sara Bruner), the pregnant and feisty “Roe,” who claims the lawyers deceived her into pressing the case.
In her show “The Madwoman in the Volvo” at the Berkeley Rep, Sandra Tsing Loh tells a story that needs to be told. Accompanied by only two other cast members—the remarkably fluid Caroline Aaron and quietly discerning Shannon Holt—Tsing Loh dissects and dismantles our most prized stereotypes about middle age, menopause, and motherhood.
George and Martha need an audience to watch them tear each other apart, even if only their sober selves gazing down from a mid-century modern platform in their mid-century modern apartment. That’s the real uncomfortable truth of the play: we, innocent audience members, stare with mouths agape at infinitely creative methods of injury and find the taste it leaves in our mouths is painful and delicious.
“Frog and Toad” (Bay Area Children’s Theater) runs weekends until September 25 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The show sidesteps heavy-handed morality to portray instead that most ethically challenging of life’s endeavors: a real human relationship.