A Musical About the Other Hollywood

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jared Zirilli, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Steve Rosen, Alyse Alan Louis (foreground), Luba Mason, John Behlmann, Lulu Fall and Marrick Smith in 'Pretty Filthy.' Jared Zirilli, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Steve Rosen, Alyse Alan Louis (foreground), Luba Mason, John Behlmann, Lulu Fall and Marrick Smith in 'Pretty Filthy.' (Richard Termine)

A new production from The Civilians, a journalistic theater company, is called Pretty Filthy and is an exploration of the pornography industry centered in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. The Civilians use words of ordinary people — in this case, people who work in porn — so the story is told with less concern for poetry than for verity.

And, oh yes, it’s a musical, too. The show, directed by Steve Cosson, features songs by the Civilians’ in-house composer Michael Friedman, and a book by Bess Wohl.

New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood lets us know if Pretty Filthy is worth seeing in, shall we say, the flesh.

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