Set in Los Angeles in 2014, Heather Woodbury's one-woman show sends up academics while taking sex workers more seriously. Trying to finish her dissertation on the history of loose women, Amber, an “ethno-feminist-dance anthropologist,” seeks to interview Desmond Reese, a reclusive 108-year-old former stripper who lives with 27 cats. With her grant money running low, Amber hurriedly tries to coax Desmond into revealing her life history, or “herstory.” Highlights include escaping the Dust Bowl, riding the rails, performing burlesque, selling her body for a living and, of course, stripping. She meets Salvador Dali¬, and eventually becomes a wrestler, before retiring. Well-directed by Abigail Deser, Woodbury moves easily between the naive Harvard academic and the salty old pro. Without moving from a chair set center stage, Woodbury masterfully captures the voices and body movements of the two female characters. However, many of the scene changes are awkward, and on the night this critic attended, an overly long intermission added unnecessary length to the show.
Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 19. Continues through Feb. 23, 2008

LA Weekly