Reviews - Fringe 2018

I Sound Like Mom

By Marianne Daly
Published July 20, 2018

I Sound Like Mom
I Sound Like Mom

Meghan Brown shares stories from her life, showing how she arrives at the dreaded realization that not only does her voice on the phone sound like her mother, but as she gets older even what she says and the values she holds sound a lot like her mother as well. I Sound Like Mom is playing at Mills Hardware.

The audience develops a fondness for both the daughter on stage, and her mother, as Brown reenacts how she relates to her mom growing up from Daddy's little girl, to eye-rolling preteen, then emotionally withdrawn adolescent and finally into into an independent adult who follows her own dream.

The story is told with honesty and humour. Brown's acting talent and skills are often very apparent as she works the stage. There were moments when it was difficult to hear what Brown was saying when she was further away from the audience, especially as the overhead ventilation system can be distracting.

The stage was bare except for a stool. Brown made little use of her two props, a bottle of wine and a glass. During the course of the show there was no music, sound effects or changes in lighting.

Brown calls her show a love letter to her mom. Her story is interesting, relatable and funny. I recommend I Sound Like Mom to anyone who would enjoy sitting for an hour listening to a twenty-something friend talk through her relationship with her mother to finally discover a few bits of wisdom.

Marianne Daly is a writer, storyteller and retired high school teacher.

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By RayL (registered) | Posted July 23, 2018 at 09:06:56

For audiences who are interested in the theme of parent/child relationships this piece has a good appeal. Brown shares candidly some of the major events in her relationship with her mother, as well as her father. In the end, we have a picture of an ordinary, and predictably tempestuous world, from which she has come. Brown is a capable actor with a lively onstage persona, an elastic face and ample projection (needed to overcome the white noise of air conditioning) and good comic presence. There are a few interesting visual moments in which she enacts a touching conversation as both mother and daughter.

A couple of things about the show kept me out. I had a sense from Ms. Brown that she was nervous with the material -- that she hadn't quite gotten grounded with her own stories. This created a sense in us that we couldn't quite trust where we were going or what she was doing (even though she told us what she was doing). I also had the sense that the writer/performer was not fully willing to interrogate her own history, and to look closely at her mother, and how she failed in some pretty basic ways. Let me provide one example: the role of alcohol consumption figures prominently in the piece, but without serious critique. The same point can be made about the shaping influence of her mother's anger. This leaves us with a disquieting sense that the real story of the play is a hidden story -- one she does not intend to tell, and which she does not yet fully understand. The final staged action of draining the wine glass seems a celebration of this part of her life, rather than a pained comment on what went wrong.

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