Reviewed by Joseph M. Mishler
Clio Cast & Crew opened The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler this weekend. This is a must see production for both males and females. Proceeds from this production go toward the Underground Railroad, a corporation dedicated to helping women who are victims of domestic violence and other abuse.
I was asked to review this production and give a male perspective. I highly recommend this production. It has something to offer of significance. Yes, if you are male, you might be uncomfortable in places. If you’re a male you also might just enjoy yourself. Women might be uncomfortable, but it is well worth it. Kudos to Clio Cast & Crew for tackling such a strong performance piece. Yes, this is most definitely adult content.
One of the most disappointing aspects of the evening was a lack of men in the audience. There were eight of us. When I looked at them during the performance, they were laughing and applauding. None of them rushed from the theatre angry. Men have far too long ruled things and kept women off to the side. This piece doesn’t directly attack men although it might make fun of them. The only place it really attacks men, and they have it coming, is in the Bosnian Monologue. Put away your shyness and fear and go to the play.
Ensler wrote the play because she was worried about vaginas and what women thought about them. She discussed the subject with women of all ages and walks of life, and the end result was this impressive series of dialogues.
This is a controversial piece, but it is wonderful. It brings women to the forefront and focuses on them. Throughout Ensler’s research, she encountered all types of myths and misinformation about this critical part of a woman.
The Vagina Monologues is an ensemble piece. I was impressed with the lack of hesitation by the actors and their willingness and confidence to bring controversial aspects of the play to the audience. The entire piece flowed from beginning to end. The cast kept us riveted to the play.
While it is an ensemble piece, there were a number of monologues that deserve comment. Jane McMillan did a good job with the “Hair” monologue. Cindy Hubbard gave a touching and sad monologue about the “Flood”. Denise Kubica’s monologue “Vagina Workshop” was well done. Amanda Reinhardt did a good job with the Reclaiming “Cunt” monologue. Jacque Valley gave a strong performance in “I Was There in the Room”.
Melanie Galonska gave a powerful performance of “My Vagina was a Village”. She portrayed a Bosnian woman who had been raped by the opposing army as had thousands and thousands of others. When she finished, I wanted to get a weapon and hurt those who did this savagery.
Ilona Curry gave an equally strong performance of the monologue “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy”. Curry’s performance of all the different types of moaning was splendid. She did all the different positions, gyrations, and sounds without hesitation.
Sandy Turner gave a strong performance in the monologue “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could”. Her transitions from one age to the next were flawless. Her portrayal of discovery was moving.
Other notable monologues were “Because He Liked to Look at it” by Brittany Thompson, and “My Angry Vagina” presented by Jane McMillan, Jacque Valley, and Melanie Galonski.
While I singled out several monologues, this does not take away from everyone else’s performance. The director, Dawn Sabourin, did a wonderful job of casting and directing this play.
The set was very simple: pink and black colors. Three elevated acting circles, a chair and table comprised the set. Nothing else was necessary because the actors carried the day. The ensemble used the set expertly. Costuming fit what was being talked about by the women. Behind the actors pictures continually flashed on the screen giving depth to the performance. The only real complaint I had was that the pre-show music was too loud (not much of a complaint).
The Vagina Monologues continues today at 2 pm. It also runs August 23 and 24 at 7:30 pm and August 25 at 2 pm. Clio Cast and Crew’s Theatre 57 is located at 2220 W. Vienna Rd., Clio MI. For tickets or more information call 810-687-2588. Tickets are $15 and there is general seating.
A solid notice, JM. Thanks for posting. I’ve seen another version of this show. It is very funny, and very sad. It will piss you off and make you think. Glad to hear a group of my favorite actors did the show justice.