PHOTO CALL: Sherri L. Edelen Runs The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at Signature
By Krissie Fullerton
29 Aug 2012
A new DC-area revival of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas began performances Aug. 14 at the Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA. Helen Hayes Award winner Sherri L. Edelen is Miss Mona, who runs the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel, and Thomas Simpson is her love interest, Sheriff Earl Dodd.
Also cast are DC-area favorites Christopher Bloch (as morals advocate/journalist Melvin P. Thorpe), Erin Driscoll (Angel) and Nova Y. Payton (Jewel), plus Tracy Lynn Olivera, Madeline Botteri, Matt Conner, Dan Manning, Amy McWilliams, Stephen F. Schmidt, Jamie Eacker, Tamara Young, Maria Rizzo, Nora Palka, Nadia Harika and Brianne Camp, representing the people of Gilbert, TX. The buff Aggie boys — Texas football players blowing off steam at the Chicken Ranch — are played by Stephen Gregory Smith, Gannon O'Brien, Vincent Kempski, Davis Hasty, Benjamin Horen, David Jennings and Jay Adriel.
Inspired by real-life events, the country-flavored political musical satire is also infused with rueful songs about unrealized dreams, choices made, the passage of time and loves lost. "Hard Candy Christmas" is among its standout songs. The production also incorporates the song "A Friend to Me," which was added when Ann-Margret toured with the show in 2001.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.