NOTE: ZECCO HAS HAD TO WITHDRAW DUE TO ILLNESS; local performer Laurie Brown will join the cast this weekend.


The Midcoast-based Girl Power Productions will present its 14th edition of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Waldo Theatre, Main Street/Route 220. Directed by actor and V-Day activist Ellie Busby, the show will benefit New Hope for Women and the newly re-opened shelter Hospitality House of Knox County.

Joining the company of community performers, ranging in age from pre-teen to 60-plus and including several brave men, will be humorist and cabaret artist Ida Zecco, star of “Estro-Gin & Tonic.” The professional actor’s theatrical career includes leading roles in opera, drama, comedy and musical theater throughout the New England, New York City and Europe; she also is an international recording artist and educator. A student of the late Carl Orff in composition and theory, she completed her master’s degree in music therapy at the Orff Institute and performed the soprano lead in Orff's “Carmina Burana,” under his direction. She also has studied at the Actor's Studio and with Uta Hagen at HB Studio in New York City.

Zecco has entertained at some of the world's most prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, The Duplex, Jordan Hall, Regattabar, The Park Plaza, The Charles Playhouse, Trinity Repertory Theater of Providence, Danny's Skylight Room and New York City’s Duplex Cabaret Theater.

Girl Power Productions, Inc., founded by Jeff Payson and his daughter Jessie to provide more positive female roles on stage, presented the first “Vagina Monologues” ever seen in Maine at the Camden Opera House in 2001. Soon after, they joined forces with Busby (then Ellie Hinds) who, after seeing the show in New York City, sat down with the stars and director Joe Mantenega and “talked in the empty theater until 3 a.m.,” she said. The rest is local theater history.

Tickets for “The Vagina Monologues: Rising for Justice” are $15 at the door. Reservations can be made at 832-6060, where group rates also may be arranged.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or