Laugh When It Hurts 

Gene Glave treats her cancer with comedy.


Gene Glave is back to bald again, losing her blonde curls for the second time during treatment for breast cancer. Not one to be easily deterred, she rallies for a trip to Richmond this month with the recognition that her head helps tell the story. She's bringing her one-woman show, “Mammologues,” from Charleston, S.C., to a benefit performance here, hoping to declaw the monster, as she frames it, through her cancer-fighting journey.

Glave found out she had breast cancer five years ago. “Writing has always been therapeutic for me, so I kept a blog through my diagnosis and treatment,” she says. “One of the local producers at the Village Playhouse read it and she encouraged me to make a one-woman show.” With that prod, Glave, who is a nurse, dug into the project as a way to involve an audience in her experience with an illness rarely discussed in public. Appreciative reviews followed, and people often expressed surprise that a topic so grim could evoke laughs and overriding optimism. “Some things are uncomfortable [in the program] but it's a message of hope,” Glave says. “If I can educate and entertain at the same time, it's a win-win,” she says. “I take refuge in humor. I don't want anyone to think I'm making light of cancer, but I do make fun of it.”

She uses props to tell her story, and a rendition of “Bye Bye Boobie” shows a deft comedic touch amid the darker truths. “This is a tribute to those who love us and those who are going through it,” Glave says, and it's a performance as much for men as women. Breast cancer may be the enemy, but it's opened up a new creative realm as well, she says: “It threatened my life, but it's also probably saving it.”

“Mammologues: One Woman's Journey Through Breast Cancer,” is performed Oct. 5 at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden as part of a benefit at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $35, by reservation at 287-7241 or www.bsvaf.org/mammologues.




Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: Review: Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont

    • It is a good event but every effort should be made to move it to…

    • on August 22, 2017
  • Re: Interview: Gregg Allman

    • I want to use this great opportunity to thank Dr. Akereco for helping me to…

    • on August 19, 2017
  • Re: Review: Richmond Triangle Players' "The View UpStairs"

    • Thanks for coming to the show, Claire! Just a small edit, my last name is…

    • on August 18, 2017
  • More »
  • Latest in Theater

    More by Deveron Timberlake

    • Last Course

      Last Course

      A few final thoughts on two decades of Richmond food growth.
      • Jun 3, 2014
    • Short Order

      Short Order

      RVA Food News: Metzger Bar and Butchery preview, Shockoe tapas transition + more.
      • May 27, 2014
    • Short Order

      Short Order

      RVA Food News: Behind the Scenes of a Restaurant Sale
      • May 13, 2014
    • More »

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation