Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern
Hyde Park and Lafayette and Brian Liebman present Mother Load, a new comedy developed and directed by Julie Kramer, and written and performed by Amy Wilson. Based on Wilson's experiences raising her three children, Mother Load explores the fruitless and ever-challenging quest to be the modern day perfect mom.
Lauren Helpern's set for this production is a disheveled living room, strewn with toys, clothes, books and magazines. Amy Wilson is an equally disheveled and emotionally frazzled young woman pondering the perils and pleasures of motherhood from conception to nursery school. What is not out of place amidst all this confusion is the clever script and the imaginative acting of Amy Wilson.
Amy Wilson seems a bit tentative during the first few moments of the show. Once she has gotten her first big laugh she settles into the role of the harried mom with ease. She folds laundry and puts away toys as she rails at not having time to comb her hair or finish a book. She delivers humorous lines with honesty, rather than the presentational style of a stand-up comic waiting for a laugh. There are funny stories of doing everything possible to get pregnant and have the perfect pregnancy. She avoids over-acting the stories of a painful delivery, and frustrations with getting the daily chores of motherhood right. She manages to evoke the feeling of nearly embarrassed self-disclosure at admitting the happiest part of her day is when her children are finally in bed asleep. At the end of our glimpse at her day, she muses on that distant day when the children are grown, and she will have the time she lacks to finish a book and style her hair. There is the most tender of revelations as she wonders if, when that day arrives, she will look back longingly on where she is now as the happiest days of her life.
Admittedly, this stage show is the equivalent of a chick flick. Though there were few men present, the women in the audience on the night attended seemed to thoroughly enjoy and identify with the story being told. Wilson's mentions of special baby diets, pregnancy gurus, delivery methods, know-all books and contradictory child rearing philosophies resulted in countless women in the audience laughingly telling each other they'd been through the same thing. This would seem the best therapy available for young mothers everywhere who feel they may have bitten off more than they can chew. For mothers of all ages it is a chance to have a good laugh and perhaps a good cry at the joys of motherhood.
Mother Load appeared May 22 23, 2009 in the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. For tickets and/or information on the many diverse offerings of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts you may contact them at 954-462-0222 or visit www.browardcenter.org.
In addition to Mother Load Amy Wilson is the author of three other one-woman shows; her A Cookie Full of Arsenic: My Life as a Femme Fatale was chosen for the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival. She currently writes the Girl Talk column each month for Babytalk magazine. For more information on Mother Load please go to www.motherloadshow.com.