Feeling Your Oats

Sex later in life is a subject many people try not to think about, but retired English teacher Jane Juska opened up a whole discussion on the subject when she serendipitously placed this personal ad in the New York Review of Books: "Before I turn 67 — next March — I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me."

Juska documented her experiences with some of the 63 men who replied, ages 32 to 84, in a book, A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance, which playwright Jane Prowse then adapted for the stage. Actress Sharon Gless played the tour-de-force lead on tour between 2009 and 2012; now the play A Round-Heeled Woman will get its regional premiere — and first performances outside of that tour — beginning tonight at Edge Theater.

Taking the reins as Jane is Denver actress Jan Cleveland, who admits it's a controversial role that not every actor would jump at. But she's happy for the challenge of a show that she says covers a lot more ground than the sexual escapades it suggests. "Even though it's categorized as a play about the sexual adventures of senior citizens, it's not," Cleveland says. "The play is more about one person's journey. There are things about this character that are not very likable — she's selfish, even to the extent of ignoring her friends, and she's made mistakes in her life. Ultimately, that’s what she learns: You find that your own happiness is determined by going back and correcting mistakes you’ve made, and not by counting on other people to do that for you."

A Round-Heeled Woman opens at 8 p.m. tonight and runs through May 18 at Edge, 1560 Teller Street in Lakewood; find tickets, $20 to $24, at theedgetheater.com or call 303-232-0363.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 6 p.m.; Mon., May 5, 8 p.m. Starts: April 18. Continues through May 18, 2014

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd