The Vagina Monologues | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Vagina Monologues 

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THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre. You'd think Eve Ensler's piece would be passe by now, but it retains its freshness in a new production directed by Lauren Rawitz. Though on occasion her decision to divide a monologue among the four actresses reduces the text's impact--as in the list of euphemisms for the titular body part--at other times four heads definitely prove better than one.

Each actress gets her moment to shine: Donna Steele recounts a middle-aged woman's discovery of her sexuality in the middle of a roomful of women on the same quest; Tanya Canaday, in the most painful section, talks about wartime rape; and Melissa Fosse-Dunne expertly delivers speeches about naming one's vagina (including a stellar frog imitation) and about society's passion for deodorizing women. But the glue that holds the show together is Lucinda Johnston, whose rendition of the sounds of orgasm is superior even to Ensler's. In fact that's the point: where the original piece seemed to be confided, it's now being performed. But it's none the weaker for that.

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