Actor/writer Joanna Rush performs her hilarious, irreverent and moving one-woman show, Asking For It, as part of the New York International Fringe Festival.
Asking For It follows the evolution of Bernadette O'Connell as she puddle-jumps through the primordial slime of American culture to personhood. An "Outstanding Catholic Youth of the Year," Bernadette's piety draws her to a life in the convent but passion takes her to the chorus line. At seventeen she takes up residence at New York's Port Authority, and her innocence is soon brutally interrupted by the nefarious "Brooklyn Bobby." The cops tell her she was just "asking for it." Riddled with shame but full of determination, she picks herself up and goes to an audition at Radio City Music Hall, launching her
theatrical career as a Rockette. Suddenly this confused and vulnerable girl has 35 "sisters" to help shield her from the dangerous tension of sexuality being maligned from the pulpit and glorified on the covers of porn magazines.
Bernadette marries, bears a son, divorces and lands on Broadway. But alas, as time passes, bum knees and a kid to support force her to settle for a slew of raunchy roles - from pregnant burlesque queen to star of the filthiest show Off-Broadway. She fears her sexuality and she flaunts it, but it takes a long journey of courage, and some hilarious new age workshops, before she can own it. No one would have expected what she finally asks for. And gets.
Directed by Tony nominee Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Asking for It is a zestful kaleidoscope of faith and femininity, repression and redemption, humor and humility, joy and terror, all spiced with song and dance.