The Norwich Arts Council Theater and the Wild Thyme Players current production is Eve Ensler's provocative, "The Vagina Monologues". Originally written and performed as a one-woman show by the author, it is most often perfromed with three actresses in the cast. In this production directed and narrated by Diana Finegold, she features nine actresses performing these monlogues which range from a six-year-old girl, a 72 year old New Yorker, a vagina workshop participant, a woman who witnesses the birth of her grandchild, a Bosnian survivor of rape, a stand up comic angry vagina and a feminist happy to have found a man who "liked to look at it." Diana takes this show/subject matter makes it into a pleasant and entertaining evening of theater at its best. Although you might think only women attend and enjoy this show, there were many men in the audience that night including me who appreciated the multitalented 10 member cast., proving this show is not a malebashing show.
The subject matter might shock you at first but after the introduction and set up by Diana as a very entertaining, never boring narrator, you laugh and get choked up by the various situations presented to the audience. Without giving too much away about the show, I will tell a bit about each of the monologues so you can get a better idea of it. The show's humor begins with the energetic, Heather Podziewski, a young and pretty 30 year old, describing the Hair of the vagina as the lawn around the house. The Flood is the description used by Cyndia Shook who portrays the 72 year old who shut her vagina years ago because she wet a boy's car seat back in 1953. She also has dreams of going on a date with Burt Reynolds. Cyndia is a hoot not only in her monolgue but with her excellent facial expressions and delivery throughout the other monologues, too. Cindy Weber is the Vagina workshop girl who examines it with a hand held mirror. Her gyrations on the stool in various positions will entertain you. Norma Courville, in her stage debut, plays a woman who hates her vagina until Bob tells her it is beautiful. The second act begins with a serious look at the rape of a Muslim woman in Bosnia. Jackie Granja handles this dramatic monologue brilliantly, moving the audience to unexpected tears. Then the show turns on a dime with the hysterical, stand up comic like monologue called My Angry Vagina, delivered expertly by Marcia Murphy who throws unmentionables at audience members. (You almost wet your pants laughing at this one.) The next one is a tragicomic look at the little coochie-snorcher that could by Lori Okoney-Brown who not only moves you but makes you laugh, too. She tells of the trials and tribulations she has gone through with a scolding mother always on her back and she finally is appreciated by a gorgeous lady who shows her how to please herself by controlling her coochie snorcher. Tracy Sullivan's monologue may be short but she gets the crowd involved with her reclaiming cunt monologue. (It is a very humorous one but saying anymore in this review would give away the surprise.) The final monologue of the evening is delivered by Lacey Bartlett who moans her way into the hearts of the audience. Her character likes to moan during sex and she finally finds a way to please herself and other vaginas who like to moan, too. So for an entertaining look at how women love their vaginas and some insights to how and why, be sure to catch "The Vagina Monologues" in Norwich, CT.