Haiku Review: Shoulda Swallowed

By LA Markuson

Ms Vlahinos makes
us gleefully empathize
with every woman.

The New York New Work Theatre Festival was a pleasant surprise. I had no idea what to expect in the tucked away second floor midtown theatre. But I knew I wanted to see what actress, director, writer, singer, and overall juggernaut of feminist creative power Erica Vlahinos was going to do regarding Monica Lewinsky and the women who intimately know our commanders-in-chief, out of wedlock.

you never expect
mistresses of history
to be role models

And yet, for me, that’s sort of what happened. In the context of Ms Vlahinos delving into the fascinating origin story of the widely despised and misunderstood Monica Lewinsky, we are led on a musical candyland cabaret journey through the minds of multiple other presidential side pieces. And they’re all absolutely delightful.

there’s something so fierce
in the woman who defies
arbitrary rules

The festival has multiple rounds judged by various industry experts (aka not myself) and I was pleased to learn that both of Ms Vlahinos’ works (she has two plays in the festival — the other is about another woman you will end up loving against your will) have made it to the semi-finals of the competition. I have a feeling they’ll go on much further than that, and I can’t wait to see what historic antiheroine we’ll come to adore next. Stay tuned to Ms Vlahinos’ production company, Showgirl Productions, here.

Much love.