Bawdy Bard

Sheakespearean actresses sing, dance, and dress up like whores.

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Texan drawls replace Elizabethan accents at the Ohio Shakespeare Festival’s season opener, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, now playing at Stan Hywet. Artistic director Terry Burgler insists that Larry L. King’s ribald musical isn’t that far removed from the Bard’s work. “The title is eye-catching, a little bit naughty, and the play itself is very entertaining -- more rowdy than rude,” he says. “It’s sweetly sentimental at times and terrifically funny at other times. And a lot of puffed-up characters get their well-deserved comeuppances, with great comic flair.”

Burgler plays Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd, whose friendship with brothel madam Miss Mona Stangley forms an unlikely partnership against an overzealous television reporter who takes on the century-old Chicken Ranch. And since the play is staged outdoors, audiences may get a glimpse of the whorehouse’s residents in various stages of undress. “You’ll see the ladies changing onstage,” says director Nancy Cates. “But it’s all very tasteful. They have several layers -- even stage undies.”
Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: July 1. Continues through July 14

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