“When my husband heard the name of my new show, he about lost his mind,” says actress and writer Debra Erhardt. She had to gently explain to him that Cock Tales, like all her previous one-woman shows, was based on her life experience. “Honey,” she said, “I only have this one life to draw upon.” He saw her point.
And what a life to draw upon! Last year, Debra enthralled San Miguel audiences with a funny, suspenseful and moving dramatization of her unconventional journey from her Jamaican homeland to America. And now, Debra brings to the SMA Playhouse her one-woman show, Cock Tales: Shame on Me.
“When I began writing Cock Tales, I thought I was writing about sex. But, I soon came to realize that sex is an entirely different subject. I can’t shed any light on human sexuality. I’m no expert on that subject. But, when it comes to guilt, that is an area where I am an expert. Guilt is something that we’ve all experienced. It’s something that most of us have taught our children. To the degree that we can more fully liberate ourselves from the shame that strangles our most joyous impulses, we are able to live our lives as more fully realized human beings.”
Ehrhardt’s colorful history of a lifetime of encounters with a world full of testosterone-fueled gentlemen (and not-so-gentle-men) has given her plenty of “source material” from which to create a memorable evening of theater. From her early years as a young girl in a religious family through her sexual awakening as a young adult, she takes us on a bumpy ride over a funny, sexy and emotionally rocky road.
A storyteller at heart, it is Debra’s acting that makes her so compelling to watch onstage. A professional actress and writer, she has received two NAACP Awards. Her first, Invisible Chairs, was produced by David Strasberg in Hollywood and later optioned as a situation comedy by Fox. Cock Tales opened to rave reviews at The Santa Monica Playhouse. Its Director, Joel Zwick, is best known for directing, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time. This is a show not to be missed.