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'Best Little Whorehouse in Texas' turns up the heat at Signature
A perfect pair: Sherri L. Edelen and husband Thomas Adrian Simpson star in 'The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.'
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Date published: 9/13/2012
Those checking into Miss Mona's Chicken Ranch are surely in for a wild good time. And if the color scheme of this beloved bordello is any indicator, this show is absolutely red-hot.
"The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" starts off the Signature Theatre's 23rd season with guns blazing. This rollicking musical tells the story of this house of ill repute, which becomes the focus of a fanatical television watchdog preacher, who is out to tear it down.
Miss Mona's Chicken Ranch not only offers female company to a wide variety of clientele (business leaders, politicians, boys next door, among others), but it also provides a caring place for young women who need money or have lost their way. The audience meets a couple of the ladies at the play's opening: Angel, an experienced but unsophisticated gum-chewing prostitute; and Shy, a country girl who comes from a troubled home. Miss Mona welcomes them both, taking a more motherly approach with the latter girl.
All is well in this little town until resident do-gooder Melvin P. Thorpe and his Dogettes lead a crusade to close the doors of Miss Mona's Chicken Ranch. Beyond the flash and skin, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" is also a reflection of what's happening in today's world as it riffs on censorship, reality TV and politics but with a comic hand.
Signature veteran Sherri L. Edelen heads this all-around spectacular cast as Miss Mona, and by the sound of the applause as she made her entrance at a recent performance, the audience members were very much pleased with this casting choice.
The role of Miss Mona is one she was meant to play. Equal parts brassy, maternal and shrewd businesswoman, Miss Mona is the star of the production. And Edelen delivers on all fronts, as does Thomas Adrian Simpson as the lovable, trigger-happy Sheriff Ed Earl, who is just as fast shooting off his mouth. Their chemistry onstage is on target and it's no wonder--they're married in real life.
Together, this Stafford couple does a bang-up job as Miss Mona and Ed Earl, two longtime friends who share a romantic past.
What: "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" Where: Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington When: Through Oct. 7 Cost: $40 and up
Note: For mature audiences; contains adult situations and nudityInfo: 703/820-9771; signature-theatre.org