At the age of 10, the woman we referred to as sex therapist and television star Dr. Ruth met, sent them to Switzerland by Kindertransport. This not only enabled her to escape the Nazis, but also never to see her family again. Actress Amy Griffin prepares this and much more to show the audience at the Music Theater of Connecticut (MTC) in “Becoming Dr. Ruth ”to share. The title functions for the actress, as well as the subject for Griffin, did a good research of her subject to take on that one-woman role. For ninety minutes she will be Dr. Ruth on stage.
Dr. Ruth Westheimer is the story of how someone can overcome so many challenges and ultimately be successful on their life path. “After Switzerland, she lived in a kibbutz as a teenager,” said Griffin, adding that after Palestine she actually moved to Jerusalem, where she became a sniper.
Griffin, who auditioned for the role, has appeared in other MTC productions. Kevin Connors, the theater’s executive artistic director and co-founder, directs Griffin on this production. “I’ve never done a solo show before so it will be a unique experience for me,” said Griffin. In addition to the research, Griffin is happy that there is so much footage of Dr. Ruth gives. “I can really see her move and hear her talk. She has that crazy German, Israeli and American accent that’s pretty distinctive, ”the accomplished actress said with a laugh. There are not only recordings of Dr. Ruth, but also screen projections used in the set.
While most people consider the 93-year-old Dr. Regarding Ruth as a media sex therapist, she actually had a Masters and PhD degrees in Education. “When she saw a woman discussing sex therapy at a Masters and Johnson conference, she decided it was an area she wanted to learn more about,” Griffin said.
Dr. Ruth became famous in the 1970s and 1980s when sex wasn’t so freely spoken of. She was open and fun and helped many people on her radio and TV shows. “She really is a trailblazer,” said Griffin.
Griffin has a long list of professional equity loans including Broadway and Off Broadway runs. “Fun Home,” “The Graduate,” “Oklahoma,” “Blithe Spirit” and many more have had her act all of their adult lives for which she said she was happy and very grateful.
She will be commuting from her home in New York to the MTC in Norwalk. “I’m not very far from the theater,” she said. While she sees her challenge as being on stage for 80 minutes without anyone, she is thrilled to play that role. “I am very excited about a person who is smart, happy, positive, funny and full of love. It’s an absolute pleasure to live in your headspace. “
This MTC production will open on February 5th and will run until February 21st. Tickets are available for seats in the theater or for virtual live streaming performances. The play was written by Mark St. Germain. For tickets in the theater, contact the box office: 203-454-3883. For live stream tickets, go to the MTC website: musictheatreofct.com.
Joanne Greco Rochman is the founder of the Connecticut Critics Circle and a longtime member of the American Theater Critics Association. She welcomes comments. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.