by Latoya Peterson
Anticipation buzzed around the debut of Deez Nuts, a five-man independent show billed as “the “all male spin to the Vagina Monologues,” since it was announced back in December. Amanda Hess of the Sexist blog was so excited that she reached out to creator/writer John Johnson to get the inside scoop:
City Paper: Deez Nuts. What does the title of the piece mean?
John Johnson: “Deez Nuts” is just like, D.C. . . . I’m sure everywhere people say “Deez Nuts,” but when I was in high school, it was like a refrain. “Guess what? Deeeeez nuuuuuts!” It was more of a chant or a cadence. People are familiar with it, you know what I mean? And it refers to a dude’s testicles. So it’s a witty title for a show that talks about men’s experiences.
CP: Was Deez Nuts inspired by the Vagina Monologues?
JJ: The show was inspired by talking to men in the community, but the Vagina Monologues is a good reference point for the audience. . . . The world is familiar with the Vagina Monologues, so we used the name to make people understand what it is. This is an all-male spin on that concept, with a real local D.C. flavor. It’s a perspective on everything from love to war to having children, being fathers. But unlike the Vagina Monologues, where the women talk a lot about their parts—you know, about hair on the vagina and having periods—Deez Nuts doesn’t focus on the male parts so much. It definitely talks about sex and relationships, but it’s more about all the things that affect these nuts, instead of the actual nuts.
Intriguing stuff. In the name of supporting local theater and the narrative voices of black men, my friends and I trudged out into the brutal 20 degree weather and froze all the way to Dance Place on Saturday night. It was well worth the trip.