One of the least shy talents in the American theatre will end her two- week stay in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues on Aug. 6, when Mary Testa leaves the Off-Broadway hit. Testa, equipped with a good set of lungs and stage instincts borrowed from Merman, has effortlessly drawn focus in such shows as On the Town, Marie Christine and Tartuffe. Testa is next scheduled to appear in You Can't Take It With You at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, Long Island.
Joining her on stage are Julia Stiles, Ophelia in the recent film version of "Hamlet," and Gloria Reuben.
Vagina Monologues, starring author Ensler herself, returned to New York the Westside Theatre Oct. 3, 1999, after previews from Sept. 21. Beginning on Feb. 8, a variety of actress trios have appeared in the work, the cast changing every two weeks. Vagina reveals a series of different women's stories and experiences involving their genitalia. New introductions to the monologues have been written for the various threesomes, who divide the text among themselves.
The current schedule runs as follows:
Aug. 8-20: Brett Butler, Kellie Martin and Tonya Pinkins
Aug. 22-Sept. 3: Teri Garr, Sanaa Lathan and Juliana Margulies
Sept. 5-24: Ana Gasteyer, Mercedes Ruehl and Brooke Shields The roster of actresses who have appeared in the play so far runs as follows:
Feb. 8-20: Julie Kavner, Swoosie Kurtz and Audra McDonald
Feb. 22-March 5: Mary Alice, Amy Irving and Rosie Perez
March 7-19: Rita Moreno, Cynthia Nixon and Marlo Thomas
March 21-April 2: Shirley Knight, Andrea Martin and Alanis Morissette
April 4-16: Viola Davis, Gina Gershon and Annie Potts
April 18-30: Claire Danes, Jenifer Lewis and Mary McDonnell
May 2-14: Mo Gaffney, Marsha Mason and Lynn Whitfield
May 16-28: Diahann Carroll, Judith Ivey and Marisa Tomei
May 30-June 11: Joy Behar, Hazelle Goodman and Holland Taylor
June 13-15: Linda Ellerbee, Calista Flockhart and Lisa Gay Hamilton
June 27-July 9: Melissa Joan Hart, Carol Kane and Phylicia Rashad
July 11-23: Teri Hatcher, Ricki Lake and Regina Taylor
July 25-Aug. 6: Gloria Reuben, Julia Stiles and Mary Testa
Joe Mantello, who staged Love! Valour! Compassion! on Broadway, is the director of the show.
$10 of each $55 ticket sold to The Vagina Monologues goes to the V Day Initiative.
For information on the Westside engagement, call (212) 239-6200.
--By Robert Simonson