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A Few Proud Whores Open Signature Theatre's Season

Signature Theatre kicks off new season with Open House and Whorehouse

When Signature Theatre hosts its annual open house Saturday, expect a few proud whores to show up.

The open house is free and takes place from noon to 10 p.m. in front of Signature Theatre in Shirlington Village.

The all-day event will feature master classes, discount ticket offers and “Signature Idol,” a talent competition.

Among the many activities will be live performances, including cast members from the upcoming run of "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas", which opens Aug. 14.

When you see the poster for the show you immediately notice the word "whorehouse" emphasized. In fact, the word "whorehouse" is about 100 times larger than the itty bitty phrase “the best little” sitting below.

That’s by design. Signature’s Artistic Director, Eric Schaeffer, wants to embrace the main attraction, the inspiration behind the play: the whorehouse.

When the musical debuted on Broadway in 1978, use of the word "whore" was taboo. But it's 2012 and Schaeffer wants to showcase the show's raunchy and racey subject — the goings on at the Chicken Ranch whorehouse in La Grange, Texas.

At a recent first rehearsal Schaeffer had members of the cast introduce themselves. Most of the female cast members proudly stated their name, followed by the word “whore.”

"I'm a whore!" a few announced with a smile.

Schaeffer joked about how much fun it was “working with a bunch of whores” every day.

He even hinted that some bare bottoms may be exposed during the show.

In a statement released to announce the opening, Schaeffer stated, "It’s no coincidence that Signature is opening its season with this musical gem in the middle of an election year.

"On top of being wildly funny and very entertaining, the musical addresses such vital ideas as censorship, moral hypocrisy, and media sensationalism. It is very clear that ‘Whorehouse’ is as relevant today as it was in 1978 – and we’ve rounded up an amazing cast to bring this famous Texan tale to the Signature stage.”

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