Right now, for three more nights, fifteen moms are taking turns on the stage at the Lillian Theatre in Hollywood to tell tales of motherhood. Of the women and the tales they tell, we can say that some are sweet, some are funny, some are sexy, some are strong, some are sad, and so on… But all of the women are courageous. Because of the tales they are telling, all are honest.
This is what makes Expressing Motherhood one of those theatrical experiences that seems so sincere that it is not hard to relate to it.
The stories range from the tragic and poignant to the utterly hilarious. The opening number by Mona King about her life in (and love of) her minivan sets the tone of the show perfectly. Lisa Kotin acts out a sex life that has the audience rolling in the aisles. Sarah Maizes takes back the acronym MILF from the porn industry. Shannon Noel, hands-free breast pumping bra on, comes out to confront the delivery man who rang her doorbell after she finally got her 11 month old to nap. Amy Simon feeds a baby, deals with a precocious 4 year old and deconstructs Cinderella, Jack and The Beanstalk and Snow White — all in a few hilarious minutes.
But it isn’t all fun. Liz Warthen Svatek talks about “hero moms”. By her own definition – a hero mom is someone who “is brave enough to know life is tough, but fearless enough to let (her disabled child) figure it out on their own” – she is a hero mom.
And the show has many others like her, with heartbreaking stories of faith, resilience and survival: Lisa Walco takes us through the bittersweet world of foster adoptions; Rachel Zients Schinderman talks of surviving multiple miscarriages; Angela Alenxander tells the tale of losing her sons in a car crash and how such a tragic event strengthened her faith in God.
Perhaps most touching is a letter of apology written by Anissa Mayhew and read by Jessica Cribbs, one of the show’s producers, because Mayhew recently suffered a stroke that prevents her from performing. Mayhew has three children. The youngest of them, Peyton, suffers from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The letter is addressed to Mayhew’s healthy children and apologizes to them for the compromises they have to make as siblings of a cancer survivor.
Expressing Motherhood holds up a mirror to the trials and tribulations of mothers everywhere. It is a show that inspires thought and fosters strength. As one father in the audience put it, “It was very real and authentic.”
A must see for parents everywhere.
Expressing Motherhood is currently being performed at the Lillian Theatre in Hollywood from January 15th to 17th. Tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com.