There are many solo shows about intimate journeys, and then there is Nina Arsenault’s The Silicone Diaries. It’s been a long time since I was so moved by a theatre production on a deeply personal level.
Arsenault is a living Barbie doll. After 60 cosmetic surgeries and numerous silicone injections, Arsenault transformed herself from a man called Rodney into a seductive beauty called Nina.
The, at times, harrowing and disturbing show is about her obsession, not just to become the woman who was living inside a man’s body, but her quest to create a perfect woman, the quintessence of feminine beauty.
A video shows us the various stages of Arsenault’s life, from smiling little boy to sultry siren, but it is Arsenault’s words and performance that remain fixed in the mind. Her brutal honesty and raw emotion transfix the audience.
This is the show’s second coming, and is a run don’t walk.