Monday, March 7, 2011

'In Mother Words': Bring Your Girlfriends and Your Tissues

Want a good laugh? How about a good mascara-smearing cry? I think I have the perfect girls' night out for you.

I was recently invited to preview 'In Mother Words' which is currently playing at the beautiful Geffen Playhouse. More of a series of monologues rather than a play, 'In Mother Words' takes the audience through the phases of a parent's life from pregnancy through the empty-nest stage via the funny, poignant and touching words of celebrated writers including Pulitzer Prize winner Beth Henley (Steel Magnolias) and Peabody Award winner Theresa Rebeck. The cast changes, but the lineup I saw featured actors Jane Kaczmarek, Saidah Arrika Ekulona, James Lecesne and Amy Pietz, who really reminded me of Marissa Tomei. From far away. And through my tears.

And boy, will you cry. From the mother recounting the harsh words hurled at her and her adopted children, to the details of an autistic child's first date, to the couple suddenly aware of the silence in their home after their children have moved out - there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Or should I make that my row – my friend and I, my contest winner and her guest seemed to be out to set the record for Worst Attempt At Stifling Sobs and Biggest Wad Of Crumpled Kleenex In Lap. Although, a friend who arrived at intermission said she was handed an entire box of tissues as she entered the theater so I'm guessing we weren't the only ones making a scene.

But there were laughs, too, like Marco Pennette's autobiographical vignette about gay parenting and we all stopped crying momentarily to laugh out loud at Cheryl L. West's piece, where a mother gives her daughter advice on keeping the machinery well-oiled post baby. Although by that point I think I was just crying nonstop, but now mostly because I was seriously afraid of what I was going to look like when I emerged from the theater, makeup smeared beyond repair and nose rubbed raw.

(We all came out of there wanting a nice drink to soothe our nerves. But be warned the bar only takes cash. More crying.)

I've been recommending 'In Mother Words' to all of my girlfriends whether they're moms or not - it's the perfect play to take your mom, who will no doubt be sobbing by the end of the segment about kids leaving home. Just be prepared to keep your lap free for all of her tissues.

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'In Mother Words' is playing at the Geffen Playhouse through May 1, 2011. Check here for details and to purchase tickets.

Also check out Girls Night Out, a post-show event at the LUXE hotel with hosted bar, food, photo booths and makeup artists that is FREE for ticketholders. Other FREE events include Wine Down Sundays (music and pre-show wine tastings), Lounge Fridays (pre-show champagne and appetizers from WEST Restaurant) and Talk Back Tuesdays, a pre-show discussion over Peet's Coffee.

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