The Oldest Profession

It's a pre-AIDS world that playwright Paula Vogel writes about in the stage comedy The Oldest Profession, currently being produced by Theatre Southwest. The title refers, of course, to prostitution, and the show's five characters are aging hookers. The women are not tawdry streetwalkers; they're conservatively dressed whores who just happen to be old enough to have AARP memberships. Their clientele is made up mostly of WWII vets who need a helping hand (no pun intended) in the sexual arena.

Refreshingly, it isn't what they do that these women are concerned with, but how they are going to keep doing it in an era of supply-side economics. The group is losing ground to the younger prostitutes who roam the same New York City park as they do, and their regular clients, who are on fixed incomes, can't afford the pleasure of their company as often as before. Things are starting to look bleak, but these women haven't walked the streets for 40 years without learning a few things about self-reliance and resiliency. The women talk about the ins and outs of their profession (again, no pun intended) with blunt frankness, but for all of its anatomically correct language, the show is a lesson in Reaganomics, not sex education.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 4, 3 p.m. Starts: Oct. 26. Continues through Nov. 17, 2012

 
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