Shaw wrote more than 60 plays, including “Man and Superman,” ‘Major Barbara,’ ‘Pygmalion,’ and the protofeminist play, ”Mrs. Warren’s Profession.’ Considering the events of late, this play is extremely timely and the production at A Noise Within, directed by Michael Michetti is outstanding, and that has a lot to do with the excellent cast.
The extremely talented Judith Scott (“Snowfall”) plays Mrs. Kitty Warren, and she brings her to life brilliantly. Mrs. Warren is a woman that made a choice in life — to live a life of poverty, or use her gender to become a very successful business woman and that’s exactly what she did. Granted, one could call her profession illicit, but you have to remember, that at the turn of the century, women did not have many choices in any area of their life.
When the play opens we meet Vivie Warren (the wonderful Erika Soto), newly graduated from university, who is eager to embark on a career in finance. Having been raised mostly in boarding schools, Vivie is determind to find out why her mother is so secretive about her life and her business matters. Vivie doesn’t know the source of her mother’s income or even the name of her father.
It doesn’t take long before Vivie discovers that her mother started out as a prostitute and eventually became a very successful madame. Instead of being shocked and judgemental, Vivie accepts that her mother did what she had to do in order to survive. What Vivie can’t accept however, is that her mother is still a madame, even though she is now a very wealthy woman.
‘Mrs. Warren’s Profession’ was considered very scandalous at the time, not because Shaw wrote about prostitutes, but he wrote about one that didn’t regret her behavior nor did she think of herself as immoral. He was definitely a playwright way ahead of his time.
Even though Miss Scott and Miss Soto in my opinion, steal the show, the supporting cast is quite good, including Vivie’s friend and suitor Frank Gardner (Adam Faison) his father, the Reverend Samuel Gardner, (Martin Kildare) who refuses to let Frank marry Vivie and Mrs. Warren’s companion/business partner, Sir George Crofts (Jeremy Rabb).
‘Mrs. Warren’s Profession’ opened on October 14th and plays through November 18th. Remaining performances are: Thursday, November 2nd at 7:30pm, Friday, Nobember 3rd at 8:00pm, Sunday, November 12 at 2:00 and 7:00pm, Friday, November 17th at 8:00pm and Saturday November 18th at 2:00 and 8:00pm.
To Purchase: www.anoisewithin.org or call 626-356-3100. Prices range from $25.00– $30.00. A Noise Within is located at 3352 East Foothill Blvd, Pasadena CA 91107. This is definitely a ‘must see’ play.