“Comedy is acting out optimism…” Robin Williams
People are always amazed when they see a solo show that one person can memorize all those lines. It is even more remarkable when that one person writes those many lines and portrays more than one character. And perhaps the biggest challenge of all is to successfully imbue tragedy with comedy. All of this and more is accomplished by Melinda Buckley in Mother.
It is the story of an actress and a stage mother, but more importantly it is the chronicle of life with an eccentric Hungarian mother. It is the story of conflict and resolution, of the love and joy and sorrow of life itself.
As Melinda shows us her life, with her charming but unpredictable and often difficult mother, we may recognize the multitude of things that all mothers and daughters experience. We revisit the missed holidays, the irritation of way too many phone calls, the guilt, the good times and the bad. The beginnings and the endings.
Married at 45, there is the challenging task of balancing marriage and mother. The visiting nurse, intended to provide a solution, is thwarted because mother will not let her in. There’s a brother doing his best to help, Buddhism, Swan Lake at the Bolshoi Ballet, a psychic, and dementia. To tell you more than this would be to dim the amazing moment to moment experiences that Melinda Buckley gives us in Mother.
The direction by Christine Renee Miller is flawless and the attention of the audience never wavers. Lighting Design (Kia Rogers) and Sound Design (Ronnie Lawson) very successfully augment the production without intruding. The music is beautifully coordinated with the action, among the most poignant, “Together.”
Mother was presented by MB Associates in the 2014 International Fringe Festival and has extended its run as part of the Best of Fringe at C.O.W. (The Celebration of Whimsy).
The three day extended run continues on Monday. September 29, at 4 p.m. at C.O.W., 21-A Clinton Street (between Houston and Stanton).
This is a production and a talent that will continue its forward and upward path. Don’t miss it!