Concept: Premiere L.A. performance of "The Vagina Monologues" at the Wiltern Theater, plus an after-party at the Atlas Supper Club to benefit Step Up Women's Network.
The raves: "I was absolutely overwhelmed by the opening sentence: 'I come from the generation of "down there," ' " says "Ally McBeal's" Portia de Rossi, "because that's what my mother had always referred to her vagina and mine and everyone else's as." Like many in the overwhelmingly female crowd (so much so, they invaded the Wiltern men's room stalls), De Rossi finds the monologues empowering. "It has been an amazing tool for me," she says. "I've given [the book] to a lot of friends." The biggest fan in the room is probably Kathy Najimy, who performs a piece titled "Because He Liked to Look at It" and is also responsible for bringing most of the Hollywood posse aboard. "In a town like this, it's really rare to find genuine inspiration," she says of the work. "Also, I'm a feminist, so an evening like this is my dream." Director Mike Figgis, one of the few Gen-XYers present, also says he finds "the spirit of the event very atypical for L.A." But about the show's educational value? "I don't think I learned anything about the vagina that I didn't already know or suspect," he says. "But it was nice to hear these women talking about it."