Singer and actress Lil’ Mo, Power 99FM on air personalities Roxy Romeo, Cappuccino and more to perform Saturday, February 23 in Eve Ensler’s V-Day Monologues narrated by WDAS-FM’s Frankie Darcell at Penn’s Landing Playhouse at the Independence Seaport Museum.
By Monica Peters
Frankie Darcell, one of the hardest working women in Philadelphia radio and the industry, once again brings her talents to the stage.
Darcell, who will serve as narrator, taps an all-star cast for Eve Ensler’s V-Day Monologues February 23, 6 p.m. at the Penn’s Landing Playhouse inside the Independence Seaport Museum presented by Diva at the Stage Door Productions.
R&B singer and reality show star Lil’ Mo, Power 99 FM on air personalities Roxy Romeo, Cappuccino and more exceptional talent are set to take the stage. The cast, some first-time performers, come from various backgrounds ranging from social services to entrepreneurs.
Frankie talks with The SUN about why a portion of show proceeds will go to help ending violence against women, how she selected the cast and a message for those who feel uncomfortable saying the “V-Word.”
The play is for men and women.
SUN: What inspired you to take on Eve Ensler’s V-Day Monologues (Vagina Monologues) as your latest production?
FD: I’ve done it in the past. This will be my third production of Eve’s Ensler’s V-Day Monologues. I think in today’s climate with the MeToo Movement, the #MuteRKelly hashtag. It’s just a time to really talk about the violence against women. When we look at the violence against women in Philadelphia, the agencies that are working to assure that we can make that number [of victims] small as possible. This will be my contribution to bringing a voice to that movement as we address that need. This is particularly for the 40,000 women who are missing from around the country that are specifically African American.
SUN: What V-character can you relate to most in the play?
FD: I can literally relate to all of them. “I Was in the Room,” is the monologue for women who have given birth. To be in the room to watch the birth of a human being and to be the person that is the vehicle. I could really relate to that as a mother. I think that is one of the highlights of the show so I’m going to look forward to that.
SUN: How did you determine who to cast for the “V” parts?
FD: I know that there are a number of women that are likeminded who wanted to be able to bring a voice to the stop the violence against women movement. That was the first thing. Women that I actually talked to, that I felt personally were absolutely committed to the movement. I thought about each of the monologues which I know very well–and thought about how each of these individual people would fit into those monologues. I think I did an amazing job patterning and partnering each individual with their right monologue.
SUN: Share with us how Lil’ Mo became involved with the play
FD: Lil’ Mo. Wow! Lil’ Mo is a firecracker! I was introduced to Lil’ Mo through one of my colleagues Mutha Knows from Power 99FM [Rise-n-Grind Morning Show]. My guilty pleasure is watching some of these reality shows. Knowing she was right here in Philadelphia–and listening to her conversation. She’s a mother. I think she stands for what she believes in when it comes to how women should be treated. When I realized that I knew somebody that knew her, I had to reach out. She was more than happy to do it. When I talked to her for the first time, I knew that she would be the perfect person to be “Angry Vagina.” I knew she could pull it off. Especially being an entertainer, I thought from a personality and delivery standpoint, that she would be perfect for that monologue. Immediately after one conversation, she said, “Absolutely, whatever I can do to support it. I’d be more than happy to do it.” I was like ok boo, cool! She has been wonderful to work with.
SUN: Portion of proceeds go to organizations that help to end violence against women. Share with us why you decided to contribute to this mission?
FD: I wanted to make sure that those people who are in the fight everyday can get the resources that we could give. This is a 24-hour, 7-days a week, 365 days-a year issue. They say every 13 minutes a woman is abused somewhere around the country. When you are in the fight every day, you need resources. Whatever people can contribute is needed and necessary.
SUN: Is this a play for the entire family?
FD: It is a play for the entire family, but what I think people should do is use their discretion. My daughter saw V-Day Monologues (Vagina Monologues) for the first time at 14. I had a conversation with her. It has some strong language in it– not strong language enough where I believe young people shouldn’t see it. Clearly, pre-teens–No. A teenager 13 years and older, I would say yes. It depends upon where parents are in having a conversation with their children. If someone has never had a conversation with their child about her femininity, this may not be for you. Or, maybe, it is for you so she [daughters] can better understand. A lot of parents have a hard time having the conversation with their daughter about their bodies—and the abuse of their bodies. Quite frankly, I would never do a production that is so to the left that I would be embarrassed for my daughter to come see because of foul language.
SUN: What do you have to say to persons who may be offended by “the V word” in 2019?
FD: Get a D-A-Y-Y-U-M grip! Really? For real? How are you going to be offended by something you walk around with everyday? Have they not watched television and seen how far the boundaries are? In 1998, when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, we couldn’t say ‘breast’ on the radio. Only after the push from the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure that we were able to start saying breast.
The CAST of V-Day Monologues, also known as Vagina Monologues, are women that work in various professions outside of theater. Professions are listed next to cast members name. Characters they portray in the production are in parenthesis.
Frankie Darcell, Narrator
Lil’ Mo: R&B Singer, actress, reality show star (My Angry Vagina)
Loraine Ballard Morrill: Public Affairs Director, iHeart Media: (The Flood)
Cappucino, On-air personality Power 99 FM: (The Vagina Workshop)
Roxy Romeo: On-air personality, Power 99FM (My Vagina Was My Village)
Mimi Brown: On-air personality, WDAS-FM (Crooked Braid)
Patty Jackson: On-air personality, WDASFM (The Little Coochi Snorcher That Could)
Catherine Hicks: Philadelphia Sunday SUN Publisher (Islamabad)
Ebony Williams, Social Worker: (Hair and Woman #1)
Sunny Desiree, Show host, mixologist: (Because He Liked to Look at It)
Gabby Whitehead: Comedian, actress: (C***t)
Lynette Patrick, Airline industry: (The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy)
Monica Peters, Communications, publicist for V-Day Monologues: (Woman # 4)
Dawn L. Vann, Legal Professional (Warrior Statement)
Dorothy Taylor, Entrepreneur: (I Was in the Room)
Jona Shreeves-Taylor: Social Services (A Six Year Old Was Asked, Woman #2)
Danae Reid, Model: (Woman #3, I Was 12, My Mother Slapped Me)
Andrea Lawful-Sanders, Author and Educator: (Juarez)
Bernice Adams Medical Professional: (Baghdad)
Evelyn Sample-Oates, Education Advocate: (Outrageous Vagina Fact/Intro Reclaiming C**t)
Eve Ensler’s V-Day Monologues (Vagina Monologues) stage play narrated by Frankie Darcell performance will be February 23, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Independence Seaport Museum’s Penn’s Landing Playhouse, 211 S. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For more information contact Steve at 267-751-9624 or email [email protected]. Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite (eventbrite.com/e/the-vagina-monologues-philadelphia-tickets-54716184581)