At least you would think so, after seeing the new production of ‘The Women’ at the Theatre West in Studio City. Judging by the sheer professionalism of all those on hand to steer this show in the right direction, you would just about hope that it would stay that way.
As in the movie, which most are more familiar with, nary a sight of anything remotely resembling a male will you see….but the allusions made to the other side of the equation abound. The Broadway show featuring a large female cast raised a lot of eyebrows. The play in many ways released womanhood from the traditional bondage and showed her new directions. At the same time, however, it was balanced by the character of Mrs. Morehead, wonderfully played by Sandra Tucker who represented the previous order and disapproved of much of the goings on. Her spicy comments and demeanor set the tone for the whole production.
This show returns us to where it all came from, the 1936 play by Clare Booth Luce and much of the dialogue and situations remain the same. The play is a caustic comment on the lives of a number of wealthy women as they proceed to try to compete and even destroy their relationships with each other. Here, however, we get a chance to delve more into the character of each of the large cast, not only the thoughts and actions of the hoi polloi but also of those who serve them who have their own day in court through their comments and behavior toward their employers.
Actually, the life of Clare Boothe Luce would be even more fitting for the stage than the play she penned. Actress, ambassador, politician, author, playwright, editor, journalist, war correspondent…..all this from humble beginnings from a broken home. It isn’t hard to see where she got the incisiveness and insight that so permeates The Women. And the director of this piece, Arden Teresa Lewis, seems to have made the right moves to update this production to accommodate the current scene.
It looks like this production is set for an extended run, which it more than deserves when you consider the superlative cast. All the supporting elements are up to par also, especially the work of costume designer Yancey Dunham.
Theatre West is located at 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. in Studio City There is free parking in a lot across the street. 323.851.7977. www.theatrewest.org.
Friday and Saturday at 8:00, Sunday at 3:00.