Alleycat Al talks turkey with Kitty Norris about Rapture, Blister, Burn

Alleycat Al talks turkey with Kitty Norris

Alleycat Al here, in my usual alley haunt, on the garden fence, when the show breaks open at the playhouse and peeps starting rolling out. They’re chatting up their good time. One gal in particular is more excited than the rest, so I offer her a casual nod, get myself a head rub, and we start in on our meow-fest. Turns out she’s Kitty Norris of Willits.


Q. You don’t mind talking to an alleycat?
A. I’m a Kitty.
Q. So you just saw “Rapture, Blister, Burn”?
A. Opening night. It was incredible.
Q. Incredible how, like pretty good tuna, like a howler of a play?
A. Oh yes. The cast is incredible. The script extraordinary. There’s lots of humor and some terrific, witty lines!
Q. I like witty myself.
A. Honey, get real. When you have four women on stage from three generations, talking about what it takes to find happiness, how to  juggle a career and a family, there’s going to be some intelligent and relevant humor.
Q. It touched you personally?
A. Personally, the play transported me back to 1960s Berkeley, to my hometown, when we sat around having sincere discussions in the cafes as women examining our lives. It’s so refreshing to be looking in on that conversation again.
Q. That sounds somewhat feministical to me.
A. The play’s central theme is feminist, in the sense that it remains the never ending topic for us women—are we going to be the stay at home mom or the career woman? What’s great is how that discussion goes back through the waves of feminism, from the suffragettes through Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, with the trends in films, the books, the internet, everything examined through this amazing lens.
Q. So what’s the rub?
A. These women are questioning themselves, trying on new roles, and the result is lots of humor and some really intense moments.
Q. There is one guy in the play.
A. Yes, Don Harper, the husband, played perfectly by Colby Friend.
Q. You mean he’s the perfect man?
A. Hardly. He has addictions, he’s involved in an adulterous affair and despite everything he comes across as honest, vulnerable and intensely human.
Q. So who’s your favorite character?
A. Avery Willard, the young college student, played by Ilena Pegan. She’s spunky and she’s commenting on everything, with these fresh and openly uncensored lines. She’s the chorus of her generation. I was rooting for her all the way.
Q. The show has a happy ending?
A. It’s definitely satisfying to see how things end up, after a little experimentation and some open and honest talk.
Q. Hey, can a cool cat get another head rub?
A. Purrrrrrr.

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