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'Real Housewives' celebrities star in 'Vagina Monologues'

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Published: Thu, September 14, 2017 @ 12:05 a.m.
 

By GUY D’ASTOLFO

dastolfo@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The women of the “Real Housewives” reality shows hold nothing back, which makes them a natural for “The Vagina Monologues.”

Veterans of three of the Bravo series have been teaming up to take Eve Ensler’s award-winning stage show on the road. The tour includes a stop at Powers Auditorium on Monday where the trio of Brandi Glanville (“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”), Teresa Giudice (“New Jersey”) and Ashley Darby (“Potomac”) will present the unflinchingly honest essays.

The “Monologues” dive head-first into female topics that are rarely spoken of for the sake of propriety, but with which many women share a knowing familiarity.

Glanville said she felt a connection to the show the first time she saw it.

“When I watched the original play, I said, ‘My life is a Vagina Monologue,’” she said in a phone interview from her home in California. Glanville already has shared a number of her dating and relationship mishaps in her tell-all books “Drinking and Dating” and “Drinking and Tweeting.”

When the show’s producer first approached her, Glanville was game, despite her lack of theater experience.

“I’m not a trained actor, and I’ve never done Broadway, but [the producers] said, ‘That’s why we want you to do this.’ You are reading a monologue and acting it while doing so. They had faith in me, and I went outside my comfort zone. I was super nervous at first, and it was scary and wonderful. You do it in your own voice and put your own twists on it. It was exciting and informational and afterward, I said, ‘That really needed to be done.’ ... It was such an emotional thing, and I really connected to it.”

Glanville has been involved with the tour since last year. She had no trouble describing what makes it so compelling.

“It is stuff that nobody talks about, taboos,” she said. “Women were never allowed to talk about what went on with us, the torture, and it’s a powerful piece that is sad in ways, and relatable, and it makes you laugh and cry. Women don’t speak about these things because they are embarrassed, but to make it a topic is empowering.”

The show has become a staple across the country since its release two decades ago, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing. Glanville said the audiences include women of all ages, from teens to senior citizens.

“It’s about time women can talk about what goes on down there with us,” she said, adding that the current political climate adds a layer of importance to “Monologues.”

While audiences tend to be mostly female, some men can always be found.

Glanville encourages them to skip “Monday Night Football” and see “Monologues” instead.

“I hope [men] come,” she said. “They’ll get some information that they might now know but need to hear. They always get a kick out of it and are maybe a little embarrassed or shocked. For them, it’s helpful in order to understand women better.”

As long as there are women, “Monologues” will never go out of style. But inevitably, every play gets a little bit dated, and if “Monologues” ever required an update, Glanville would be happy to do the honors. After all, she is a bestselling author.

“It was written a while ago, and I feel like I could write a continuation of it,” she said.



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