NY1 Theater Review: "Motherhood Out Loud"
Mothers are taking center stage in the new off-Broadway play "Motherhood Out Loud." NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
What could be more universal than motherhood? It's easy to justify crafting an entire show on the topic. The hard part is avoiding the Hallmark treatment. Mothers are, after all, sacred beings: I am one. I should know. But we're not all saints. And credit Susan Rose and Joan Stein, whose billing was aptly worded "Conceived By", for striking just the right balance.
It's an omnibus approach featuring more than a dozen writers. Among them, Beth Henley, Theresa Rebeck and Cheryl West riffing on the theme. Encompassing the various phases from the sleepless days of infancy to the stressful teen years and beyond, we're treated to 19 monologues delivered by a wonderful quartet of actors.
They are more than up to the challenge of breathing life into a basically static concept. Some of the works capture brief scenes in a mom's life spanning playground visits to the nursing home. Others are more complete stories. The saga of a gay couple's efforts to make a baby is a favorite.
But what ties this touching piece together is a sense that through these very personal and specific tales we're able to recognize glimmers of our own mothers and, by extension, ourselves.
Lisa Peterson directed with warmth and sensitivity though she wisely steered clear of cloying sentimentality. And the simple animated flourishes were a nice touch. The performers, Randy Graff, Mary Bacon, Saidah Arrika Ekulona and James Lecesne handled the material deftly, leaping effortlessly from passages featuring silly humor to the deadly serious.
In 90 intermissionless minutes, "Motherhood Out Loud" is a relatively modest work. But in its own quiet way, it speaks volumes.