The ongoing battle for women's liberation is the subject of the 1970s segment of the historical cabaret revue at Original Joe's, the emcee announces, adding -- in a puzzled, mock-clueless aside -- "How's that going, anyway?" The startled, scoffing laughter of the audience at the fifth annual DivaFest was as appropriate as it was expected. Sure, gains have been made in all kinds of areas, from company staffs and corporate boardrooms to the halls of Congress, the military and many homes. But progress has been painfully slow and parity far off. We never did get an Equal Rights Amendment, the glass ceiling and pay inequities persist, women still bear the major share of housework and a reinvigorated radical right keeps trying to roll back all kinds of women's (and other) rights. Such disparities seem far less obvious in the world of the theater, however -- which would seem to call into question the need for a festival like DivaFest, dedicated to encouraging and developing new

Wednesday April 26, 06
by Robert Hurwitt, Media Reviews