La vida local

Let’s talk about sex: Dr. Ruth’s life chronicled on stage

 

At 85, Dr. Ruth Westheimer still has sex on the brain.

But don’t go to Becoming Dr. Ruth, the one-woman show at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale running through Sunday, expecting to hear how to have more fun in bed.

Westheimer is nowhere to be seen on stage; actress Debra Jo Rupp (the mom on That ’70s Show) puts on her best German accent to become Westheimer and tell her amazing, often harrowing life story.

“I’m so impressed by Debra,” says Westheimer from her home in New York City. “I think she really gets me.”

Before she was a celebrity and a sex therapist, Westheimer — born Karola Ruth Siegel in Frankfurt — experienced the Holocaust first hand. After her father was taken to a labor camp, the young girl was sent on a Kindertransport train to Switzerland. She eventually ended up in Jerusalem joining the Haganah paramilitary organization and becoming a sniper due to her height (around four foot seven at last check).

“I don’t think a lot of people knew these details about me,” says the author/ lecturer in her signature chirpy, cheery way. “But yes, it is pretty incredible.”

Indeed, the play isn’t all PG-rated. Rupp also goes into how Westheimer became the famed celebrity sex therapist and re-creates question and answer sessions from her advice radio show that began in NYC in 1980.

Still active and sharp, Dr. Ruth thinks the intimacy problems people experience haven’t changed all that much in the past 30 or so years.

The most universal issue? “Boredom.”

One bright spot for the clueless is the Internet: “You can really learn so much about sex online. It’s infinite.”

Tickets from $28; 954-462-0222, parkerplayhouse.com

Madeleine Marr

Follow @madeleinemarr on Twitter.

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