Answers to some questions you might have about City Theatre’s current production of The Vagina Monologues:
What is it?
The Vagina Monologues is a series of related monologues of varying length, all about female anatomy, women’s relationships to their anatomy and sexuality, and society’s responses and influence. That sounds academic and heavy, but it’s mostly funny, touching, sad, bittersweet, energizing, and thought-provoking. It was created and first performed by Eve Ensler, based on interviews she conducted with over 200 women. (Find more background at Wikipedia.) In most other productions of this show, three or more actors take turns delivering monologues. This production features Erica Bradshaw, Holli Hamilton, and Laurie Klatscher, all of whom are fantastic and warm and fun.
Is it embarrassing?
Yes. But in a good way. Everyone’s comfort level with the language and subject matter is sure to be different. Still, nothing is so graphic or explicit that the audience is left wincing — or if they are, they’re laughing a minute later.
Is it all one big feminist rant about sex and society?
There’s a feminist slant, certainly. The message overall is that too many women are ashamed of their bodies and their sexuality, and that they should make the effort to love themselves — figuratively at least and literally in some cases. There’s some anger, but it’s handled in a funny way. On the whole, I suspect an ardent feminist would find the show doesn’t go far enough.
Do any men go to see the show?
Yes. At the Saturday matinee I attended, about 10 or 11% of the audience was male. That sounds respectable until you realize it’s only about 15 guys, and they were spread throughout the theater. Surrounded by women, in other words. But I suspect they all had a good time, once they overcame any misgivings. You don’t have to take my word for it though: Uncle Crappy was there, and he has had very nice things to say about the show.
Do the actors and audience hassle any men in the audience?
No. Far from it.
How many times do they say the word "vagina" in the course of the show?
More time than I could count.
What’s the worst word they say?
Telling that would spoil one of the best monologues in the show. You’ll need to go and see it for yourself. Actually, I’m not sure I see anything as a bad word now — it’s all in what you mean and how you say it.
Would I go see it again?
Yes. And I would take my mom.
The shows runs until February 17. Visit the City Theatre website for show times and dates. For tickets, call 412.431.CITY (2489), or visit the Box Office at 1300 Bingham Street — mention the word ‘BLOG’ and receive a $5 discount per ticket.