Books might tell you what to expect, but how many new mothers really have much time to read? And who can really warn you of the emotional rollercoaster of raising kids except someone who has been there. All of us who are parents, or hope to be, fear the "bad mother" shingle or worry that we are not doing the right thing, the "I hate you forever", from your kids can sting like no other insult.
Mommy! Mommy! The Musical!...Musical! opened to a full house on it's first night at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Hollywood (6539 Santa Monica Blvd.). With the concept and lyrics by TV producer/writer Elin Hampton, music by Gerald Sternbach and choreography by Kay Cole, this lighthearted look at mommy-hood is celebrated in song as we follow three separate and distinct mothers: a lesbian couple, an older pre-menopause mother, and a vibrant young mother who ends up being on her own after all.
In their own right, each woman is independent and capable. With nothing in common but the desire to be good mothers, they are brought together in a Mommy and Me class and instantly bond for the eighteen years of child rearing as they compare dreams and notes and heartaches dealing with overpriced birthday parties, to family vacations, to marital breakups and the high cost of therapy. It reminded me of the alternative parenting network that I had been a part of so many years ago.
The play is a collection of songs with some narration detailing the journey of their lifetime starting with Nothing Prepared Me, followed by Bess (Terri Homberg-Olsen) virtues being a Mid Life Mama and as Mare (Michelle Azar) and Yvette (Heidi Godt) comment on Look How Far We've Come, Cydney (Elizabeth Lauren Hoffman) laments taking care of kids (and a husband) when she has A Hundred and Three. And all of us who are parents or who have parents can identify with Bess as she sings I Can't Heal the Pain.
Brian Beacock's talents in his role as anyone and everyone added immensely to the enjoyment of the play as he took on roles as Cydney's husband Mark in A Hundred and Three, noisy woman in park in Mid Life Mama, ticket conductor in Traveling With Children, party planner in A Typical Birthday Party, and the manicurist in Joint Custody.
Each song tops the other so it is hard to say which I liked best but as the mother of a preteen I really identified with the changelings our "sweet" children become in Monsters.
The show also showed how much each of us owe our own mothers as the women compare what it was like for them growing up.
The show runs until April 1, 2007. Tickets are $30 for a performance: Friday, Saturday and Sunday Matinees. They can be purchased online at http://www.plays411.com/mommymommythemusical or by calling the Hudson Theatres, (323) 960-7774
Produced by Sue Hamilton, this should be a huge success. May it go on for as long as mother hood does! I look forward to the CD of the songs and hope to see the play again before it goes...maybe to Broadway???