Definition of “round-heeled woman”: a woman of easy virtue.
The story of Jane Prowse's play, “A Round-Heeled Woman,” adapted from the book by Jane Juska, centers on the character Jane, a sharp, energetic retired English teacher and …
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The story of Jane Prowse's play, “A Round-Heeled Woman,” adapted from the book by Jane Juska, centers on the character Jane, a sharp, energetic retired English teacher and divorcee, who decides it's been too long … a life with no sex, that is.
She places an ad in the classy New York Review of Books, her favorite newspaper: “Before I turn 67 — next March — I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me.” She received 63 replies, from men between the ages of 32 and 84, and the play depicts a few of the resulting encounters.
Jan Cleveland stars as Jane, backed by a sort of Greek chorus of friends: Suzanna Wellens and Deb Hultgren, who are alarmed about her plan to meet men. “What if he's an ax murderer?”
Hultgren also floats in and out as Jane's favorite Victorian Trollope character Margaret Mackenzie. She, in her 30s and over the hill by Victorian standards, comments on life in general in a dreamy manner — and is also seeking a man.
Director Scott Bellot has ensured that assorted character changes flow smoothly through the well-crafted script as the men — Scott Schuster, Gary Crow-Willard and Bob Byrnes — each depict several generally needy characters. They aren't developed fully enough in the script for the audience to make much connection, but there are some funny lines. Schuster is the much younger potential lover and also portrays Jane's angry son, who feels Jane has betrayed him.
While the action is by necessity a bit scattered, the play is an unusual look at later life and makes for an entertaining evening of theater. Mature language happens — don't bring the little people.
If you go:
“A Round-Heeled Woman” plays through May 18 at the Edge Theater, 1560 Teller St., Lakewood. Performances: 8 p.m. May 16-17; 6 p.m. May 18. Tickets: $20 advance, $22 at the door. 303-232-0363, theedgetheater.com.
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