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Posted December 23, 1999
The times may have changed, but the attitudes surely haven't. Women are still killing themselves to look beautiful. In the waiting room of a modern day New York City doctor's office, three unlikely allies meet: Forgivness From Heaven, an 18th Century Chinese woman who's toes are falling off because of her bound feet; Victoria Smoot, a Victorian woman who's corset is forcing her uterus out of her vagina (her husband also demands she get her ovaries removed as her desire to educate herself has caused their atrophy and given her hysteria); and Wanda Kozinski, a modern woman who is afraid her breast implants might lead to cancer. What the play does best is show the sharp contrasts between men and women: the men in the women's lives make such drastic decisions for them and the women are left picking up the pieces. With Freud, FDA conspiracies, foot binding, smoking, drinking and cancer, this play covers a lot in it's two hour running time. It is honest and frank and develops its 11 person ensemble fully and carefully. Women actors will love the three monologues Wanda has within the text, and there are very good women scenes as well. As an actor who has just performed in a production of it (Blessing From Heaven, Forgivnes' husband) i can account for the elegance, beauty, and the depth of the piece. Actors and audiences (and READERS!) alike will be able to relate to their own lives. After this piece, everyone will be able to (at least for a time) to look at themselves in the mirror, like Wanda and say: 'Gimme a break . . . you're beautiful'
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