Brava to Lois Weaver for daring to tackle two subjects – sex and aging. They are not supposed to go together, but she refuses to give up yet. She was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship to enable her to explore these subjects. She conducted workshops in London, Zagreb, Croatia, and New York City. This is where she gathered stories and recruited show participants from 65 to 95.
The Tammy Why Not character has been Lois’ alter ego and performance partner since 1978. Tammy is an “aging trailer trash big wigged blonde” who was a Nashville star. This is not uptown slick theater. This is a down home, downtown grass roots do. The show begins with Tammy’s upbeat, bubbly personality greeting her audience. “Raise your hand if you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, etc. up to 80’s”. Then she shmoozes the reluctant audience members with questions; “If I had a secret sex life I’d……….”or, “If not sex than…..”. She has charmed the audience to respond. Her witty ad lib responses keep us having a good old time. Guest artists called the Why Nots come from NYC senior centers. They are here to “bring their sexy back”. They perform as back up singers, story tellers, and appear in music videos.
The only other person on stage is Peggy Shaw as an overseer keeping everything together. Peggy is Lois’ long standing collaborator and creative partner. Together they founded Split Britches, the world’s premiere lesbian theater troupe. Peggy’s last show was “Ruff”, a brilliant exploration of her life after a stroke.
There were several original songs with witty lyrics mostly by Lois Weaver. The final song was “This Lemons Stlll Gotta Lotta Juice” sung by Weaver as she eats an entire lemon.
There was a video shown of a 97 year old woman dancing energetically on the streets of Havana. Not that many of the performers had as much juice as she did. But it was still impressive that they were out there still in the game of life. It looked like a good time was had by all – performers and audience despite their ages.
I felt saddened by the toll aging had taken on the performers, on the other hand there was still juice left. Full disclosure: I refuse to admit I am a Senior!
What Tammy Needs to Know About Getting Old and Having Sex” – conceived, directed and performed by Lois Weaver and written by Weaver in collaboration with Peggy Shaw.
Choreography by Stormy Brandenberger. Sound Design by Vivian Stoll. Music Composition by Vivy JoStoll, Amy Surrant, Louise Mothersole, Paul Clark and Sharon Jane Smith.
Set Design by Jo Palmer.Lighting Design by Lori E. Seid. Costume Design by Susan Young. At La Mama E.T.C., 74A East Fourth Street, 212 475 – 7710, $l8 general admission, $13 seniors, Ten $10 tickets, first-come first-served basis. Running time 60 minutes. Thursdays thru Sundays thru November 23.