Saturday, February 12, 2011

"The Vagina Monologues" leaves 'em laughing

Review by Janet I. Martineau
The expressive Debbie Lake
If ever the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” was more true, it is applying it to the Black Box 180 production of “The Vagina Monologues” this weekend at Midland’s Creative 360.

Fortunately, we took our camera along and got some of those pictures as five of the area’s most talented actresses -- Susie Polito, Carol Rumba, Debbie Lake, Marci Rogers and Denyse Clayton -- presented the Obie-winning show about a private part of the human anatomy.
Eve Ensler’s monologues are rip-smart -- full of pathos and heart-break one minute and a riot of laughs another. Saying those words, taken from real-life stories, with the right emphasis is another part of the pie. 

But having seen the show twice now we are convinced that the body English used completes the serving ... and   perhaps is the most important ingredient of the show.
Gales of laughter swept Creative 360’s Friday night performance accompanied by dead silence and gasps during some of the more poignant moments. 

Clayton’s voice ruled in the sarcastic tones required in relaying indignities at the doctor’s office....Lake’s face was a worldwide map of expressions throughout...Rumba charmed as a naive woman with a mirror...all five were in superb form with the sound effects created during orgasms.
Denyse Clayton at work
Without getting too soap box driven, it is a pity that controversy continues to dog this show and that last year another Midland arts entity refused to promote this show. 

Yes, parts of it are a little rough going....but “Vagina Monologues” also does what all good art should and must do and that is challenge the status quo as well as allow us to view things in a new way.
A word praise also to Black Box 180 member Kristiina Pilnik and her decorating crew who turned Creative 360 into a red-hued Valentine’s Day splendor...and created a chocolate-covered strawberries serving area that was humorously suggestive. 

Each table also included fun quote-wrapped napkins and cutouts of the faces of famous women.
The soups from Cafe American were delicious, especially the tomato bisque. And mini-cupcakes from the Gourmet Cupcake Shoppe carried through on the theme as well.

Marci Rogers

Carol Rumba

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