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'V-Day' honors

The title sounds controversial, to say the least, but it was a sensation in New York while parading under the same name and won an Obie Award. So Pandora's Box Theatre Company has arranged a one-night-only performance on Feb. 18 of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues."

This theatrical tour-de-force amounts to another step in the total liberation of American thought and speech from the taboos and "no-no words" of the past. What Ensler has done is to interview scores of women of differing races, nationalities and ages, exploring the ways in which their sexual organs have contributed to the shaping of both fulfilling and horrendous aspects of their lives, or, as Ensler puts it, "revealing the deepest truths . . . about being female."

"The Vagina Monologues" will be presented as the culmination of Pandora's offering of several other related events under the collective title "V-Day," part of a larger international "V-Day Worldwide Initiative" intended to heighten the world's awareness of violence against women.

All of the Feb. 18 events will be held in the Upper West Arts Center, corner of Richmond Avenue and West Ferry Street, as follows: 5-6:30 p.m. - Gathering to End Violence, information tables run by groups working to end violence against women; 6:30-7 p.m. - Preshow entertainment; 7 p.m. - Reading by a celebrity guest of the Vision Charter for a world without violence against women, followed immediately by a performance of "The Vagina Monologues," directed by Ellen Opiela, featuring Eileen Dugan, Anne Gayley, Mary Kate O'Connell, Kelli Bocock-Natale and many others.

Focus on women

"Kissing the Witch," Emma Donoghue's play for four actors, is based on five fairy tales: "Beauty and the Beast," "Sleeping Beauty," "Donkey Skin," "The Goose Girl" and "The Little Mermaid." In Donoghue's reinterpretation, the focus is on women, and the witches all possess a powerful wisdom. Hag Theatre, in Hallwalls' Black 'n' Blue Theater at 2495 Main St., will present the play beginning tonight and continuing through Feb. 24. Cyd Cox, Jessica Rasp, Kate Elliott and Daniel Horrigan will be the players. For info and tickets call 879-0935.

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