PLAYWRIGHT PAULA VOGEL
How often have you stopped to ponder the longevity of a street walker or lady of the evening? Does she have a pension plan or collect social security after decades of personal service? Playwright Paula Vogel has considered their plight, so much so she has penned their telling story in the comedy "The Oldest Profession" now entertaining patrons weekends at Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin until Saturday, November 5.
It's the Reagan era in the 1980's in Manhattan and we find four world weary women on a park bench discussing and debating the problems of the world in general and their particular plights personally with their madam. Their problems are poignant and tied to their profession and the length of time they have been pursuing it
Their clients are now grey haired men who reside in seedy hotels and retirement homes and these gals are still anxious to meet their sexual needs. The actresses Mae the madam (Jennifer Burns), Lillian (Nancy Ferene), Ursula (Karen Gagliardi), Edna (Barbara Horan) and Vera (Bonnie Sprague) are no spring chickens but they bring an earthy earnestness to their roles.
They bicker about their customers, the long hours, the increasing demands, the lack of security for their eventual retirement and the old days when they received a modicum of honor and respect. These women of a certain age are frank in their language, as they are faced with arthritis, aches, Alzheimer's and other ailments, trying to develop new tricks of the trade to remain vital and productive.
You can almost hear the clock ticking as one by one they strip down to their elegant evening wear, don a white boa, and become angelic Gypsy Rose Lee wannabes. With a mixture of warmth and weariness, these ladies of the street reveal their colorful personalities under the makeup. As New York changes to a more dignified city, these gals have to endure a makeover of their own. Kris McMurray is kind to their dreams and ambitions as he showcases their lives.
For tickets ($30), call the CT Cabaret Theatre, 31 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at www.ctcabaret.com Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. Remember to bring goodies to share at your table or plan to buy desserts and drinks on site.
Get "hooked" on these mature professionals as they struggle to survive and stay productive in a changing world.