This review of Valerie David's The Pink Hulk at The Bridge Theatre (Shelter Studios) was written by Christopher M. Struck and published in Volume X, Issue 7 (2017) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!
The Pink Hulk
Written & Performed by Valerie David
Directed by Padraic Lillis
The Bridge Theatre (Shelter Studios)
244 West 54th Street
New York, New York 10019
Valerie David performed her frank, direct, and vibrant one-woman show excellently. As she discussed her path to beating a second bout of cancer, we are reminded of the major milestones of life and the importance of forging strong personal relationships. Unfortunately, in Valerie David's case, some of those relationships dissolved while others were strengthened as she transformed from a frightened, though defiant woman struck by cancer, into a strong, determined fighter who feeds off her anger like a "Pink Hulk."
Through a loose connection to Mark Ruffalo, the current Marvel green man, David gained strength to fight with her anger at having been struck with this deadly affliction a second time. She talks about the disruption that cancer caused, the damage it did to her physically and how it altered her life. When she once had a promising career as an actress and friends she thought were there for her, things changed drastically after the onset of cancer. Her career and friendships took an entirely different route. The physical parts were stark and real. The pain and loneliness were understandably striking and uncomfortable. Her story will move and inspire you.
What resonated the most was her intense drive and desire to participate in a bike marathon even though her body was still suffering from the effect of her "cure." She made the decision to race as an "FU" to the pain and weight gain that came with the disease for her. She was determined to handle things better the second time around, and she definitely did. That moment when she crossed the finish line was a victory for her and for cancer patients everywhere. The courage it took was a testament to the strength of an individual.
Her vulnerability and ability to share and communicate clearly the worries of love and life associated with her struggles made this one-woman show a worthwhile venture. I would recommend it to anyone but especially to women. A large part of the show does seem to be more relevant to the opposite gender, but the struggle to become a cancer survivor is something all people can relate to. If you want to see how someone successfully transforms tragedy into metamorphosis, this is the perfect opportunity.