Mom's the Word 2: Unhinged
Here’s a performance that’s always in season - it’s about mothers. Mom’s the Word 2: Unhinged features five moms, and their chaotic lives with teenage kids, husbands, and changing bodies. CJSF A&E’s Elana Chan had the pleasure of attending the performance at Art Club Theatre, Granville Island Stage, on May 4, 2007.
Mom’s the Word 2: Unhinged
Review by Elana Chan
A pitch-black stage opens to an Ikea-furnished wall full of cubbyholes, with a ladder, a fridge and a bathtub. Deborah Williams, one of the five moms of the show vividly describes how she “falls in love so hard it hurts my hips” and moves on to recount her 78 hours of labour. Then come the stories of the other moms: the 4 AM hockey practice, the missing mayonnaises jar that only mom can find, and the pleasure of reaching the bottom of the laundry basket.
One may wonder how a play about mothers can be humorous. After all, the original Mom’s the Word collective was born when six former actors, then with young children, met on Saturday mornings to write a play about motherhood. How exciting could it be? It resulted in thousands of delightful performances – motherhood is relatable and translatable – the original Mom’s the Word has been performed in 10 countries with five translations.
One doesn’t need to see the original to follow the sequel. Mom’s the Word 2: Unhinged is humorous and heart-felt. It appeals to not only mothers, but also those who still remember their teenage years and their own relationship with their mom. The actors participate seamlessly in each story, and use the set effortlessly. Alison Kelly climbs all over the cubby holes to illustrate a strenuous hike in the rain, then exits the scene in the bathtub. Jill Daum dances on a table while reminiscing wild teenage years.
In act two of the play each actress takes their story in different directions. This segment lacks a central plot to follow. Though most people wouldn’t notice, as central topics like drug use and breast cancer remain as honest as ever. At one point each mother shares how she handles the “sex talk” with her teenagers. One mom describes her tactic of getting into the car, locking the doors, and driving on a freeway. (No escape for the impatient teenagers who reject everything mom tells them.)
A lively, touching performance, even with a musical number “Here comes menopause”, Mom’s the Word 2: Unhinged promises an entertaining evening for women in all stages of life, and men who dare to laugh at themselves. Mom’s the Word 2: Unhinged is performed at Granville Island Stage of Arts Club Theatre until June 9, 2007. For more information, visit www.artsclub.com.