Theater & Performing Arts

Hick: A Love Story

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 25 2015

In addition to being America’s longest-serving first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt was also the most influential (Sorry, Michelle!). Eleanor was a fierce champion for human rights, feminism, and underprivileged youth, but let’s focus on what really matters — her thirty-year love affair with journalist Lorena Hickok, whom Eleanor affectionately referred to as “Hick.” Chronicling Hick and Eleanor’s romance at Berkeley City Club (2315 Durant St.) is Terry Baum. In Hick: A Love Story, Baum plays the scrappy butch journo, who was also a pioneer in her own right (She was a top reporter for the Associated Press in New York and the nation’s best-known female journalist in the 1930s). As Hick, Baum recounts and reenacts (sort of — it’s a one-woman show, so Eleanor only appears by way of voice recordings) their decades-long relationship through monologues, stories, and snippets from the 2,336 letters that Eleanor and Hick wrote to each other. Hick is rife with humorous tidbits, including Eleanor’s response to Hick’s presumption that Eleanor had never been intimate with women before: “I went to English boarding school.” And a scene where, in a roomful of reporters, Eleanor announces that she and Hick will be conducting an interview in the bathroom and “please do not disturb us.” The play lags somewhat toward the end, but regardless of that minor shortcoming, Hick is a touching, tender tale about two trailblazing women who loved, admired, and inspired each other throughout their lives.

Anna Pulley

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