By Holli Harms

There is an amazing happening going on at Pangea in the Lower East Side. It is trailblazer theater artist Leslie Ayvazian’s Mention My Beauty. With Mention My Beauty the Pangea performance space is stripped down to bare bones with only Ayvazian, a music stand, and the script. It is a full 90 minute piece reconsidering preconceived ideas you have of what is theater, what is storytelling.

This, the true story of Ayvazian, we will hear from her about her college years in the tumultuous 60s, the anti-war protests, women’s movement, sexual revolution. The Armenian genocide effecting her family, (a genocide that continues to this day), her time in Soho where she hit emotional bottom, to meeting her husband of over 50 years, and the birth of their child. It is a tumultuous journey of hilariously deep events that had the packed house literally rolling in their seats with laughter, back slapping laughter, and experiencing with quiet reverence the tragic truths of her life, like that of Ayvazian’s botched abortion that almost killed her.

Sex is explored from the visage of time, the beauty and delicious discoveries of it, and the horrors, the mistreatment of women and how we accepted them then and unfortunately still do today. Be good girls, we need to be good girls.

She holds us all in a safe place as these truths, the heavy reality of the situations both good and bad, are told.

She brings up questions of family and friends, of womanhood and love. “What is a woman’s place in the world? What is feminism for all of us? What is the love of a parent?” My table that started the evening as strangers, had us by the end of Mention My Beauty friends who remained seated discussing all that Ayvazian had presented until we were basically kicked out. There is plenty for all to privately ponder as Leslie ponders in public, on stage, with tremendous honesty.

Ayvazian stated,”her goal is to tell a story with no production values and next to no artifice.” She has succeeded beyond all expectations in the telling of her life!

Mention My Beauty – a must see!

Tickets for Mention My Beauty, which are $20 when purchased in advance, are on sale HERE. Mention My Beauty running every other Tuesday through July.

Pangea’s deliciously priced Italian-Mediterranean menu is available in the 60-seat jewel-box Cabaret Room where, in addition to the cover charge, there is food and beverage minimum of $20 per person. Pangea is located at 178 Second Avenue (between 11th & 12th Streets).  For more info call 212-995-0900