Emotional Creature

Once again, Eve Ensler is “painting the town pink.”

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Once again, Eve Ensler is “painting the town pink,” said Suzy Evans in Backstage.com. With her new play, the creator of The Vagina Monologues attempts to capture the female condition, or in this case the life of the adolescent girl, writ large. Drawing from numerous encounters she’s had while traveling the globe, Ensler presents the stories of girls coming of age, punctuated by “goofy, peppy songs” by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder. There’s “no believable dramatic arc established,” unfortunately. Still, Ensler’s strength, as ever, “lies in her ability to unearth the universal in these personal, intimate stories.”

“Even when the material feels overly spritzed in message-mongering,” the vivacious young cast holds your attention, said Charles Isherwood in The New York Times. “With quiet ferocity,” Joaquina Kalukango brings to life a Congolese teenager forced to become the sex slave of a soldier, and Molly Carden, playing a 16-year-old prostitute in Bulgaria, tells her story in harrowing, halting sentences that “reflect her damaged psyche.” Not all of the material, however, is dark. There are moments of joy when some of the girls trade stories and start to figure out their lives, and there’s even an “unexpectedly charming sequence” involving a Chinese factory worker (Olivia Oguma) who imagines inciting revolution among the Barbie dolls she assembles. One theme comes across clearly throughout: “Becoming a woman,” in any culture, “is no job for cowards.”

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