Naked Women Fully Clothed at Women’s Theatre Project

Naked Women Fully Clothed at Women’s Theatre Project

In “Naked Women Fully Clothed,” currently running at Sixth Star Studios in Ft. Lauderdale, Women’s Theatre Project offers up a mixed theatrical fare with equally mixed results.  With this said and before going into further detail, the audience, myself included, enjoyed many laugh-out-loud moments thanks to especially strong performances by Sally Bondi and Lela Elam, and the show is, indeed, worth seeing before it closes this coming Saturday, November 15th.

The event consists 0f several monologues and short plays, a type of billing which holds particular appeal for audiences these days, given the global attention deficit and how accustomed we’ve all become to news sound bytes and youtube video clips. While Genie Croft, Artistic Director, developed the originalconcept for the show, the pieces were penned by some six different women playwrights (Deborah Finkelstein, Ginger Lazarus, Joan Lipkin, Jill Morely, Celia Rivenbark, Tammy Ryan); the pieces listed in the program as “anonymous” were emailed to Croft through the years without authors identified.  I have to admit it feels a bit strange to review a show that contains anonymous writings; it’s kind of like critiquing the “Footprints” poem.

And speaking of the Lord, Act I opens with an unattritbuted piece entitled “Eve’s Conversation with God,” in which Eve (played by Jaqueline Leggy) expresses her boredom to God, who, expectedly, turns out to be female and promises to create Eve a playmate–Man–provided she let him think God created him first.  Act II closes with a complementary piece entitled “Three Proofs,” in which the six actresses who comprise the company  offer up a succession of humorous explanations for Jesus’s most likely ethnicity (ie. “Three proofs Jesus was Italian…he talked with his hands…and so on), culminating in three proofs Jesus was a woman: “He could feed a crowd on a moment’s notice with no food; he couldn’t get anyone to listen to him; even when he was dead, he still had to get up.”  This final joke garnered sufficient laughter the night I attended.

Some of what comes in between does also provide laugh-provoking, if not thought-provoking, entertainment about experiences that most women can relate to, such as the ensemble piece that concludes Act I, entitled “Isn’t This the Truth,” which accurately and effectively captures the mortifying mess that is women’s public restrooms, from long lines to no toilet paper to toilet paper stuck to shoes.  Other offerings, however, I dare say, suffer by taking on cliches that would be better left lying, such as the pieces on Barbie; while they evoke giggles and while Barbie is still very much a part of our cultural landscape, the feminist dissection of her is something you’d expect to have seen in a women’s theatre company production a decade or more ago.

This is not to say that the show does not  depict female diversity, for the cast and content of the pieces cover a broad swath in race, ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation; in fact, four of the eight pieces in act two contain lesbian characters or explore lesbian issues.  I guess I hoped for a little more edge stylistically and thematically from “Naked Women Fully Clothed,” given its titillating title and the high-stakes mission statement that drives the theatre company: founded in 2001, Women’s Theatre Project is dedicated to producing plays by women, about women, with all female casts–the last characteristic being the one that sets it apart from other female-focused companies, such as NYC’s Women’s Project.  Their 2010 season will begin in February with “The Year of Magical Thinking,” a one-woman show by Joan Didion.  See you there.

*Pictured above: Me with Genie Croft, Founding Member and Artistic Director

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  1. [...] few weeks ago I reviewed “Naked Women Fully Clothed” by Women’s Theatre Project in Ft. Lauderdale, and ever since, searches for “naked [...]



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