DR. RUTH (ALICE MCMAHON) WITH PICTURE OF PRESIDENT CLINTON
Dr. Ruth Westheimer at 89 years old, only 4 feet 7 inches in height, has quite a life story to tell. Right now, Square One Theatre Company of Stratford is letting all those secrets and stories out of the bag as Mark St. Germain's illuminating tale "Becoming Dr. Ruth" plays weekends until Sunday, May 21. Performances take place at Square One's new home at the Stratford Academy, 719 Birdseye Street, Stratford.Alice McMahon is utterly charming as this petite powerhouse whose courage was tested early on in life when, at the age of ten, she was put on the Kindertransport train from her home in Germany to travel alone to Switzerland when Hitler and Nazism became a threat to Jewish lives. She never saw her beloved family again after they say goodbye.In this historical play, she talks directly to the audience, sharing anecdotes about the people she has met and the obstacles she has overcome. She shows pictures of her family that she is carefully wrapping because after living in this New York Washington Heights apartment for thirty seven years she is finally moving to a new home. Every item she touches triggers a memory, from a music box to a washcloth.Dr. Ruth happily confesses she is pack rat and is quite content to have the audience visit her while she packs up all her treasures. She asserts change is good and moving is good. She reveals that in Palestine her small stature made her a valuable messenger in the war and she served as a sniper. Coming to America, she sought an education and earned a doctorate, abandoning her first thought of being a kindergarten teacher to becoming a sex therapist. Through her radio and television shows, she helped millions of people deal with issues of a personal nature in a more open manner.Did you know it was Dr. Ruth who convinced a Governor Bill Clinton to run for the presidency? Who knew a Beatle (she is not sure which one) sang to her? Have you ever played her Game of Good Sex? Did you know she learned to speak English by reading True Confessions magazines? These are but a few the tidbits of information she reveals about her fascinating life, directed with dedicated care by Tom Holehan.For tickets ($20, seniors $19),call Square One Theatre at 203-375-8778 or online at www.squareonetheatre.com. Performances are Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.Come learn about this fascinating little lady who believes sex is a celebration of love, who bubbles with positive energy and works to repair the world.