Theater

The Old and the Horny: What Tammy Needs to Know

by

Tammy WhyNot (Lois Weaver) has been on the comeback trail so long that she’s started to think about growing old. A self-described trailer-trash blonde, Tammy long ago traded in her Nashville career to become a lesbian performance artist, after getting into the “wrong car” with the “right girl” in a Memphis parking lot. Now, after more than 35 years as a downtown icon with the pioneering Split Britches company, this drawling belle is joined onstage with a dozen new friends — real folks Weaver has met in workshops at New York City senior centers. The topic of What Tammy Needs to Know About Getting Old and Having Sex, The Concert Tour is, of course, sex. Specifically, how to stay sexy and love yourself in the golden years. Tammy quizzes the audience about their mores and delivers heartfelt ballads, but the real stars are her seniors.

These New Yorkers are black, white, Latino, and Asian; they’re gay, straight, widowed, celibate, and (surprisingly) libertine. But most of all they’re hot — because experience always is. Donning boas, neckties, and leopard prints, the vibrant ensemble sings, dances, shares stories, and gives tips for remaining randy into late life. Carmen and Jorge show off salsa moves. Tom reads his stunning poem. A geriatric couple recommends daily lovemaking. “I want to be that badass,” said a twentysomething woman sitting near me. We all do. As Tammy puts it, with hardly a trace of sourness, “This lemon’s still got a whole lot of juice.”