It Takes a Village Nurse

The Killing of Sister George, by playwright Frank Marcus, is a parody of social attitudes toward lesbianism that was misread and taken seriously in its 1964 debut. The play follows June Buckridge, who stars in a radio series as a benevolent village nurse — a sort of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. But off the airwaves, in real life, Buckridge is a hyperbutch, gin-swilling brute who physically abuses her meek, younger “living companion,” Alice. Buckridge flies off the handle when she learns that her radio character is about to be killed off, so a studio exec with ulterior motives weasels into the couple’s home life. Because of its day, the play only hinted at “deviant” sexual orientations. The playwright intended the couple as a farce of lesbian stereotypes, but — in a Springtime for Hitler-style twist — audiences took it at face value.

This strange, subversive, and historic play is showing at Rising Action Theatre (1480 SW Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) at 8 p.m. Friday and runs through February 13. Tickets cost $29.95. Call 954-561-2225, or visit risingactiontheatre.com.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Jan. 14. Continues through Feb. 13, 2011

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Penn Bullock