The Avant-Garde Vagina Monologues

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Blogger Yelena Shuster reports on this weekend’s production.

If Valentine’s Day didn’t give you enough of an excuse to get vagina-happy, a good option is this year’s campus production of the Vagina Monologues. For those of us who have seen the show for the past three years, prepare to be shocked. This is no traditional approach.

The show started with a bang—complete with a marching band and its rendition of Salt N Pepa’s “Push It.” Girls in gold sequined dresses and purple leggings writhed, shimmied, and humped onstage, against the backdrop of a giant cut-out vagina (acting as convenient stage entrance as well as educational anatomy tool).

The most powerful part of the show is the first hour. Director Casey Llewellyn included original monologues to broaden the conversation Ensler started. As our androgynous, suit-clad host said, “Some women face violence because they don’t have vaginas. Some men face violence because they do.”

Ayala Danzing spoke about the shame of hating her body (sparked at a Loehmann’s communal dressing room no less). Danaya Almenares spoke in poetic form about the poison of sex with her first female love. Tiffany Thomas spoke about the excitement of finally becoming a transgender woman and getting rid of that “lump” between her legs, “a constant reminder that something was wrong with me.”

The ensemble cast was diverse in age, ethnicity, accents, body sizes. Brightly colored raincoats alternated with a piano for props. There were orgasms onstage, offstage, and even David Bowie made a musical appearance. Your boyfriends will enjoy the occasional simulated girl-on-girl porn and your girlfriends will appreciate the hilarious tirade against gyno visits (complete with a symbolic use of oversized tampons).

At times, Llewellyn’s directions border on the absurd (fruit strap-on, anyone?), but her avant-garde redefinition of Ensler’s masterpiece is worth a look—and perhaps an uncomfortable gaze or two.

Friday, February 15th

Saturday, February 16th

8pm, Roone Arledge Auditorium

Tickets purchased at Lerner Box office or online at CUArts.

$7 w/ CUID and $12 without. All proceeds go to Day One.

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  1. vag mog  

    "Your boyfriends will enjoy the occasional simulated girl-on-girl porn"

    no. no, they won't.

    btw: did any of the actresses have a look of sexy curiosity about them?

  2. Jeez  

    not to be a prude, but what's the obsession with sleaze on this campus? First the GHR dances were more about moving provocatively than displaying talent, now dry-humping on stage. What's the point? It's not that entertaining, and the internet is for porn.

    • dude,  

      our entire existence is driven by sex. the whole word, not just this campus. reproductive success is the ultimate goal for every individual and sex is the way to get it! our brains are even configured to respond to simply visual sexual stimulus. and that is exactly how sex sells, so get on the human nature bandwagon and sex it up!

  3. OR!

    our campus is so damn sexually repressed that we make a huge spectacle of the theatrics of it rather than actually having it.

  4. Wait  

    There are girls on this campus with talking vaginas? Shit.

  5. pussy  

    After seeing the last two incredibly disappointing years of Vag Monologues, I was incredibly impressed with Casey's direction this year. She put up a beautiful show that made the monologues interesting and funny again! The original works at the beginning were great, and Danaya is a goddess!!

  6. llewllyn  

    I read that name and thought of No Country for Old Men and got really excited for a second. Just thought I'd let you know.

  7. agrees w/ 2nd poster  

    Based on this Bwog post's comments, I'm doubtful that most of the 'Monologues' audience ever moves past the shock-titillation of the raw sexuality showcased in the script. If the goal is fostering discussion about women's issues, then this over-the-top "potty mouth" (and I do believe that is the best description) does nothing to advance toward that.

    Congratulations -- you can swear in front of hundreds of people and have it lauded as academia!

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