THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES

Eve Ensler, Author , read by the author. Books on Tape $24 (, unabridged, one cassette, 1.5 hrs., $24 ISBN ) ISBN 0-7366-9156-1

Playwright and activist Ensler's off-Broadway hit has been so successful it's spawned an internationally touring show and a nonprofit organization that supports work to stop violence against women and girls. Drawing from hundreds of interviews, some presented nearly verbatim, others as composites, and encompassing women of all races, ages, backgrounds, sexual preferences and nationalities, Ensler's one-and-a-half-hour, unabridged performance beckons listeners to reconnect with the "unnamed, untamed and unknown" down there. The sketch topics range from mundane yet funny (menstruation, gynecological exams, thong underwear and moaning styles) to truly poignant (rape, genital mutilation and their distressing statistics). Ensler tackles each with equal passion, in a voice as changeable as the show's tone. Narrated mostly in highly affected voices, like the memorable screaming, Southern accent in the piece called "My Angry Vagina," or the intense poetic articulation of "Reclaiming Cunt," Ensler's performance also portrays the reverence, awe and "deep worship of vagina" she felt after witnessing the birth of her granddaughter in a final segment dedicated to her daughter-in-law, entitled "I Was There In The Room." (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 05/05/2003
Release date: 00/00/0000
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