Marital mayhem and medicine abound in “In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play),” a new play written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by...

Marital mayhem and medicine abound in “In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play),” a new play written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Les Waters. It opened on Broadway last night, November 19, at the 922-seat Lyceum Theatre to an enthusiastic reception from audiences and critics alike.

This fresh comedy is set at the turn of the last century when doctors used vibrators to calm so-called “hysterical” women (and the occasional man). The story focuses on a doctor and his wife played by Michael Cerveris and Laura Benanti and the effect his practice has on the entire household. It takes place in the doctor’s consulting room and adjacent parlor in their home, seen as a split set designed by Annie Smart.

Cerveris plays Dr. Givings and Benanti plays Mrs. Givings. The supporting cast is comprised of Quincy Tyler Bernstine as Elizabeth, Maria Dizzia as Mrs. Daldry, Thomas Jay Ryan as Mr. Daldry, Wendy Rich Stetson as Annie and Chandler Williams as Leo Irving.

Previews of “In the Next Room” began October 22, and its limited engagement ends January 10. Current ticket prices range from $51.50 to $96.50, with paid admission averaging about $30 throughout previews. It reported a gross of $162,622 for the week ending November 15, according to the numbers reported to the Broadway League.

Evening performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday and 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. The theater is dark on Mondays. Due to the approaching holidays, there will not be performances on Thanksgiving (November 26) or Christmas Eve (December 24). However, there will be additional performances on November 27 at 2 p.m. and December 27 at 8 p.m.

The Lyceum is located at 149 West 45 Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. The two-act show runs for two hours and 25 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission. Further Scheduling and ticketing details are available on the production’s official Web Site.

Opening Night: ‘In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play)’

Publication Critic Review
Variety David Rooney “Ruhl has a gift for unexpected moments of stirring poetry”
New York Times Charles Isherwood “…a true novelty: a sex comedy designed not for sniggering teenage boys — or grown men who wish they were still sniggering teenage boys — but for adults with open hearts and minds.”
USA Today Elysa Gardner “…offers something a lot more satisfying than cheap thrills or cheesy self-empowerment.”
NY Daily News Joe Dziemianowicz “As characters shed corsets and knickers for some good vibrations, the play surges with laughter. The merriment ceases in the second half, larded down by so many themes concerning life, light, love, lactation, lesbianism — and that’s just the L words.”
The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck “Bottom Line: Stimulating… the ensemble delivers sterling performances…”