Live onstage: A diverse trio of performances 

Bridget Tunstall directs the Bay Street Theatre’s annual production of Eve Ensler’s insightful and incendiary The Vagina Monologues this weekend.

Playwright Ensler mandates that 10 percent of proceeds from community productions go to her V–Day charity (“A Global Movement to End Violence Against Women and Girls Worldwide”) and that the other 90 percent reaches a community group that benefits women.

The Bay Street production is donating this money to the Rape Crisis Center; last year’s donation was nearly $900.

The Vagina Monologues, Tunstall believes, is one of those shows that deserves to be repeated. “Every year, different issues around the world for women come up,” she says. “And every time we have the show, we have new women participating in it, and new women that come and see it. So if more people get exposed, the more the message reaches.”

This year, the monologues will be performed by, among others, SCAD professor Krista Harborson and Bay Street veterans Cecelia Arrango and Kimmi Sampieri. “A large chunk of the cast, honestly, are students from the SCAD community who have never done it before,” Tunstall says.

Just a few weeks ago, Sheila Lynne directed Ensler’s The Good Body at Muse Arts Warehouse. This was by design, not by accident.

“Sheila and I talked about it, and it worked out that we were able to do two Eve Ensler shows back–to–back,” says Tunstall. “And I thought that really worked well, in the scheme of planning.”

Performances are at 8 p.m. Feb. 25–27. See clubone–online.com.

Visions of history

Abeni is a Nigerian word meaning “We Asked For Her and She is Ours.”

The dancers of Abeni Cultural Arts have Muriel Miller, heart and soul. A co–founder of the group, Miller is also Abeni’s artistic director, its dance director and the primary architect of Visions: An Odyssey in Black Dance, Friday through Sunday (Feb. 25–27) in the city’s S.P.A.C.E. black box theater.

Presented in conjunction with the Savannah Black Heritage Festival, Visions is Abeni’s annual journey through history with African, modern, contemporary, jazz and hip hop dance.

“We always try to add something different each year, to make it a little bit better,” Miller explains. “We’ve added a little bit of dialogue and some more singing this year, as opposed to just dancing – there’s a lot of dancing, a little bit of singing and a little bit of acting.”

Participants come from Miller’s adult dance company, Kokomo Collective, from the youth company Ijaba Dance, and from the Little Miracles (students age 8 and younger).

Performances are free. See abenidancestudio.webs.com

If the Rain comes ...

At the Johnny Mercer Theatre Tuesday night, it’s Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles. More than a tribute band (although, of course, that’s what it is at heart) this is a two–hour–plus performance that includes multi–media, special effects and the like. It’s been a hit on Broadway for a year or two.

Rain goes the full monty, taking the lads from their jacket–and–tie Ed Sullivan period to the eccentric and long–haired look of the Abbey Road–era final days. Accordingly, there are numerous costume, wig and instrument changes.

As a lifelong, card–carrying Beatles addict, I’ve seen perhaps a dozen tribute bands over the years (currently, there are 50 of them in the United States alone). They’ve all varied in musical quality (and English accents, and choice of material, and other things), but what impresses me about Rain is that the band does an acoustic set. The Beatles themselves quit live performances in 1966, a full three years before they split up, so lots of their greatest late–period acoustic songs never got played live.

Therefore, if the the faux–Fab thing floats your boat, this could be the one.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $32–$52 at etix.com, or by calling (800) 351–7469.


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Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung was Connect's Arts & Entertainment Editor from May 2009 to August 2014.

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Connect Today 10.23.2016

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