Comment 123340

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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