It’s that time again- Pittsburgh’s City Theatre has brought back The Vagina Monologues for the pre-Valentine’s Day season and your faithful correspondent was offered free passes for the press viewing. With a ticket to spare, I brought along the mother-in-law who, in my opinion, can use all the empowering she can get. The woman is a martyr- going without new clothes for years so she can spend the money to send her kids on school trips, a single mom who got out of two abusive relationships and can’t sit still if someone needs something she can do for them. She’s a great broad, and one of my favorite people, but she really doesn’t do much for herself (or see how great she is).
The City Theatre’s production was simply, but elegantly designed with red fabric draped around, adorable cocktail table seating, and Ikea-style paper lanterns overhead. The three actresses did a decent job of playing the wide variety of characters in Eve Ensler’s work- from a Bosnian rape victim to a 70-something virgin. My only complaint would be a personal pet peeve- the show is merely an hour and fifteen minutes (no intermission) and yet the actresses came onstage with cards to read from. I’ve always been a person that believes if you are a trained actor, there’s no excuse for reading onstage. Memorize it, for Pete’s sake. I suppose this could have been an artistic choice to make clear to the audience that these were compiled from interviews- the notecards as interview notes. Still it made me a little cringy. (EDIT: I’m informed by a reader below that the script requires reading- my sincere apologies. Still- given the choice, I would prefer an un-read play.)
The show did serve the purpose I hoped for- the mother-in-law loved it. And I think she walked out with her head a little bit higher, and some decent laughs under her belt. Mission accomplished.
For anyone interested in seeing the show, it runs now through February 17, 2008. Also, readers who mention “blog” when they call for tickets at (412) 431-2489 will get $5.00 off the ticket price.