Rachel Bublitz

Writer

Jul 8, 2012

Eve Ensler's New Play EMOTIONAL CREATURE vs. MAGIC MIKE

I had an interesting day yesterday…. I saw a movie and a play! Here’s a bit about my experience…

Let’s start out with my experience seeing Eve Ensler’s EMOTIONAL CREATURE at Berkeley Rep. One of the songs they played before the show started was “We Are Young” yes, the very same song that I wrote about before my vacation. You know the one about giving his lover a scar and not wanting to apologize for it? I should call up the Rep’s sound designer. He should seriously start listening to the lyrics of songs, more than just the chorus. Because if EMOTIONAL CREATURE is about anything, it’s about why we shouldn’t be violent to women like ALL of Eve Ensler’s plays. So things as you can see already weren’t going so well…. And then the show started…. Surprise! EMOTIONAL CREATURE is a musical. Yes, I went to a musical by accident. I really must learn to read descriptions of things better. For those of you who don’t know me, there is an undeniable truth to my being…. I hate musicals. Occasionally I’ll see one, I saw LES MISERABLES when my friend did it in college, I saw DRACULA, THE MUSICAL at La Jolla Playhouse and I slept through JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR once…. But I need warning, I need preparation. I do not need to walk into a theatre and get surprised by a musical. Oy vey.

Things got worse quickly. I don’t relate much to the poor me, the popular girls at school don’t like me whine that every story with young people includes. My high school wasn’t like that, it’s obnoxious, and I just want to hit all girls involved in the forehead and tell them to get over it. AND, this problem with juxtaposed with the other issues that teen girls deal with around the world, like sex trafficking in Eastern Europe, cheap factory labor in China, and the massive rape in Africa, makes me feel anger to all teenage girls living in America. Berkeley Rep also included some of the cheesiest graphics I’ve ever seen… At one point a girl was singing a slow song, and behind her there was an image of a window. As the song continued we slowly went through the window to soar through the sky. I almost laughed out loud.

It wasn’t completely terrible though. The acting was spot on, two of the actors in particular really stood out, Joaquina Kalukango was phenomenal, as was Olivia Oguma. And also the idea of the play… I can’t help but like it. The idea that the whole world tells young women to shut up and sit down and this play shows that young women deserve better than that. I agree. I do think that there is a more powerful way to convey this however. Structurally, the play sticks to THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES format, and I think it would be interesting to tell these stories in a different way. Definitely without the singing and the jazz hands. So, if you’re on the fence about seeing the show, I would say that it’s a pass. If you already have tickets, just know it’s only 90 minutes long, and there are some terrific monologues, especially toward the end.

Last night I saw MAGIC MIKE. Before you think it, I know. I know. But I have to say I was ever so slightly impressed, probably my expectations couldn’t have been any lower. Channing Tatum is an excellent stripper, and it’s obvious that he’s the only one of them that’s actually stripped. He’s got the moves. There were some older ladies sitting by my friend and I and they were on the edge of their seat. I was also surprised by the story and the cinematography. There was actually some great shots in the movie and that wasn’t what I was expecting. The story seems completely over done, boy meets exciting new world, gets in over his head, etc. But I was surprised when the boy does get in over his head, the friends who would typically fight for him and make him see that life wasn’t all about blow and sex, leave him. That I liked. I also liked that Joe Manganiello from True Blood was one of the strippers. Matthew McConaughey was downright scary though, just thinking about him gives me the shivers. To wrap things up, not terrible, if you’re up for a silly movie this is a pretty solid choice. I don’t know how enjoyable it would be if you don’t find yourself attracted to men though…

That’s all for now! The next show I’m seeing is The Merchant of Venice on Tuesday at Gough Street Playhouse.