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Mrs. Warren's Profession 

When: Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through April 27 2008
Price: $17-$25

Crisp performances keep things moving admirably in Susannah Martin's generally strong staging for Shotgun players of George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession, which stumbles occasionally for lack of subtlety. Emily Jordan is terrific as Vivie Warren, a prim and businesslike college girl who's about to become better acquainted with the mother she scarcely knows and the shocking source of her own livelihood. At times a battleaxe fuming like Miss Piggy and occasionally grotesquely lewd, Trish Mulholland's Mrs. Warren could as easily have been a pirate as a lady of the evening. Friendly, sly, judgmental, petulant, and combative, Joseph O'Malley contains multitudes as young suitor Frank, and one of the problems of the production is that the various aspects of his part are so distinct and contradictory that they don't all add up. Through April 27 at Ashby Stage (1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley). ShotgunPlayers.org or 510-841-6500


— Sam Hurwitt

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