Not often does one hear the phrase “Chocolate vaginas! $2 each!” but that is exactly what met my ears as I took my seat for “The Vagina Monologues.”
On Feb. 22 in St. Cajetan’s Center, the MSU Denver Feminist Alliance put on the show, which features a series of short stories presented by a variety of women talking very explicitly about sex and the vagina itself.
The show has been put on since 1996 and is re-written by its author Eve Ensler each year to add or change aspects of the show. The script is then syndicated to various performing groups internationally.
The script itself is sound when viewed in halves. The first half of the show is mostly amusing anecdotes and funny stories about women confronting their sexuality and their vaginas. The second half takes a dark turn, discussing rape and abuse, and going into grisly details about some women’s experiences. In the end, this dichotomy makes the show feel like a trap. The funny stories draw you in so that performers can spring statistics and gruesome stories onto the audience.
The overall message from the show is one of power and independence and of fighting back against the patriarchal societal norms in the world today. That is something anyone can get behind and is inherently a positive thing.
It was a shame, then, that the performance wasn’t especially good. Some of the speakers didn’t speak clearly into the microphones, while others suffered from faulty microphones that cut in and out and were distracting. One speaker didn’t use a microphone at all and paced the stage in heavy boots that made loud, clomping noises.
I, as a man, am inherently not the audience that this show is meant for. I admit, not all of the humor or stories made perfect sense, since I do not know what it is like to be a woman. I don’t hold that against the show, the script or the speakers, but it’s harder for me to try and understand any of the humor or stories properly when I can barely hear the presenters.
In the end, “The Vagina Monologues” is a good piece of work that deserved more rehearsal, and is probably totally worth seeing when presented by professional speakers or in a venue that isn’t plagued by unreliable equipment.