Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Vagina Monologues

10 pm, Sat, March 26.

Just returned from the single performance of this year's production of The Vagina Monologues sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Rochester.

Under the direction of Kara Zebelny, the enthusiastic cast did an excellent job, despite what I assume is little or no acting experience -- they began rehearsals last November, but each member of the 26-woman "Vulva Choir" read their monlogues from cards.

The monologues ranged from disturbing, to touching, to amusing, to fall-in-the aisles funny. Among the disturbing segments were, "Not So Happy Fact," on female genital mutilation; "My Vagina Was My Village," about the rape, torture and murder of women in countries torn asunder by ancient tribal hatred; and "They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy," about the oppression of boys and men regarded as effeminate and the salvation of some as transsexuals.

Especially enjoyable were the segments "The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could" (performed by Rachel Rosen Simpson), "The Woman Who Liked to Make Vaginas Happy" (with Jenna Weintraub and her backup "moaners" Hawa Ibrahim, Helen Young, and Kelly Battaglia), and "Reclaiming Cunt" (France McClosky), an hilarioius and sensual reclamation of the ultimate pejortative term for women.

The performance was followed by a festive reception featuring the cast and various sponsors, including Deborah Magone, Boudoir Studio 6201, and, of course, Planned Parenthood and the Rape Crisis Center, which received the proceeds from the evening.

The one question I was left with was why the producers don't put on several shows -- say, the standard Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday matinee -- instead of just one. They could charge a bit less (e.g. $15 vs. $20 per ticket) and would most likely gross a lot more. Anyone have an answer for this?

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