Dillon presents a great body of work
April 9, 2009
Lake Dillon Theatre’s production of “The Good Body” begins with a Queen recording of “Fat Bottom Girls,” a perfect introduction to Eve Ensler’s latest obsessions and observations with body image.
A verse from Queen’s song says, “We’re gonna let it all hang out,” and that’s exactly what “The Good Body” does.
Ensler is known for revealing “The Vagina Monologues” to more than 70 countries. With “The Good Body,” her fixation has transferred to the fat in her belly ” though vaginas still come into play.
Actress Mare Trevathan, an award-winning Denver-based performer, shines in her one-woman show. While some one-man shows can become sluggish, due to the challenges of transforming into various believable characters, Trevathan avoids such pitfalls. She naturally shape-shifts from the narrator, Eve, who battles with her body image, to various multicultural personalities Eve encounters.
From the start, Trevathan impacts the audience with a strong voice and stage presence. The show begins with a slew of witty one-liners and laughs. But in traditional Ensler style, it delves into poignant and painful moments, before coming up for air with humorous commentary, just in time to save the material from becoming emotionally overburdening.
Eve talks about wanting to grow up to be a “good” girl, but it turns out that a “feeling of badness lived in every part of (her) body.” And much of that badness manifested as a tormented preoccupation with her “fat” stomach.
Recommended Stories For You
As “The Good Body” develops, Eve meets various women who either mirror or contrast her obsession with body image.
The first woman she transforms into is Helen, an old woman who still does sit-ups, even though she weighs a scant 90 pounds.
After Eve serves a term at the local gym, where her mantra becomes “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” she decides she wants someone else to take care of her body, so she goes to a spa.
Along her self-absorbed journey, Eve begins to meet women who are less like her. Carmen, a Latina, celebrates big butts ” as long as they don’t turn to spreads. A butch tattoo artist tries to talk Eve into embracing her stomach by piercing it. And a Jewish woman tells a story about surgically altering her most intimate body part, in order to please her husband.
But it’s not until Eve travels to Africa, India and Afghanistan that she begins to grasp the meaning of living in one’s own body. In these countries, she encounters women who accept ” and even love ” their bodies. As an African woman says: “Here, we live in our bodies … Your bodies are like pictures to you.” And as an Indian woman points out: “While you are fixing and renovating your body, you’re missing the world.”
“The Good Body” weaves through societal truths, pressures and pains, and eventually surfaces as a beautiful story of Eve’s transformation into a passionate woman.
An approximately 75-minute play, the pace moves swiftly and comfortably. Photographic projections in the background keep the scenes fresh and interesting, while Trevathan relies only on a plum scarf, a stool and her acting skills to create compelling characters.
A 10-minute talk-back after each performance addresses topics of the show, as well as Trevathan’s process.
As the characters ultimately point out, living in one’s body is an experience not to be missed. And, Lake Dillon Theatre’s performance of “The Good Body” is not to be missed, either.