Girls' night out

The Vagina Monologues

Venue: The Vogue Theatre, Vancouver

Date(s): April 9-14, 2002

Reviewer: Ed Farolan

It's not Chip 'n Dale, but the Vogue was a full house of women at opening night of Eve Ensler's limited engagegement of The Vagina Monologues. Women from all walks of life were having a night out laughing, cheering, and just simply enjoying a show that should have been labeled "For Women Only".

There were a few of us guys, perhaps curious to find out what makes this play click. Click it did because from beginning to end, the actors-Geneva Carr, Mackenzie Phillips and Lisa Tharps got the audience reeling and laughing, and crying....well, the crying was an exception to the laughing rule. There was a monologue about the 70,000 women raped during the Bosnian war, and there was a hush in the audience. But then, almost immediately, back to the stand-up comics (who were sitting on high bar stools with microphones which sometimes were annoyingly too loud), who appreciated the Vancouver female audience spurring them along with their spontaneous comments. There was wild applause and a standing ovation at the end of the opening night performance.

All three actors were just excellent-Geneva with the sad rendering of the raped women in Bosnia; Mackenzie with her moans which got the audience rolling in the aisles; and Lisa (I heard comments from the audience saying "She's the best!") with her candid, almost spontaneous rapport with the audience.

What playwright Eve Ensler did to this 90 minute no-intermission comedy was gather information from different women on what they thought of their vagina, and converted these interviews into monologues, voicing lusty, outrageous, poignant, brave, funny, wise, mysterious and all the adjectives you can think of about the vagina.

Since the Flower Power movement in the sixties and seventies, women's lib has grown in leaps and bounds. It sort of withered and became a thing of the past in the last two decades, but with The Vagina Monologues, it has resurrected and given a new voice to women. The play, an Off-Broadway hit which opened with Eve Ensler on October 3, 1999 at the Westside Theatre, has evolved into an international phenomenon, and in the USA, it has been referred to in several hit television programs.

The text of The Vagina Monologues has been used in benefit performances entitled "V-Day" raising millions of dollars to fight violence against women. At V-Day 2001 which sold out at Madison Square Garden, Eve Ensler was joined by Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, Glenn Close and over 60 other celebrities.

2002, Ed Farolan

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