Mrs. Warren's Profession at Cal Shakes


If you were a virginal young woman more willing to use your brain than your boobs to get ahead in the world, how would you feel if you came home from Cambridge to discover that your mother is a notorious madame and the luxury of your childhood was bought via the virtual enslavement of women not so different from yourself?

Answer: Kind of crappy.

(That’s a paraphrase, by the way. Playwright George Bernard Shaw’s depiction is far more eloquent.)

Shaw's opinions about the role of prostitution in Victorian society provide a somewhat militant undertone to the unraveling of his heroine's life. Under the direction of Timothy Near, Mrs. Warren's Profession is an excellent choice if you want socioeconomic comedy, wide bustles, and the always-welcome option to drink a bottle of red wine in the theater.


Cal Shakes, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda. Through August 1st. Tickets are $20-65 at


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