The Avant-Garde Vagina Monologues
Written by Bwog Staff
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