Friday, April 13, 2012
MOTHERHOOD THE MUSICAL at the Royal George
I usually have a saying that goes someday's there is God and then there's Oprah and then on others there is Oprah and then there is God. In “MOTHERHOOD the Musical” the saying should go more like there's Mom and then there's God or possibly Oprah, whatever is bigger at that moment but nothing is bigger then Mom.
MOTHERHOOD the musical which opened at the Royal George Theater last night and runs though June 17th is a bouncy, breezy, crowd pleasing type of show that strikes an emotional chord with many in the audience (mostly women) and should enjoy a healthy run while in town.
The show written by author and songwriter Sue Fabisch, tells the story of Amy played with a tad bit of perkiness from Madeline Duff-Feins who is thrown a surprise baby show by her neighbors and friends Barb, an over-worked stressed out mother of five Brooke, a lawyer who works too much and barely sees her kids and Tasha, a single mom struggling to balance work, family and a divorce. Each of these three mothers spend the 20-song cycle informing Amy of both the highs and lows of motherhood.
The show in structure, style, and almost musically borrows a lot from other shows in similar theme as I saw a lot of Dan Goggin's “Nunsense” in this particular show down to the gospel number at the end. However the old saying should stil apply “If it ain't broke, don't fix it.”
The cast works in overtime to sell each of their vaudeville style numbers with everything they've got and then some. As Barb or Sister Robert Anne, Jennifer Chada has some of the crudest material of the three but delivers it like its Andrew Lloyd Webber and with a voice to match that style of music. Melody Betts as Sister Hubert has a personality almost as big as her voice and delivers her numbers like this was the last performance she was ever going to give. I hope the Marriott is thinking about her as Effie for there upcoming production of “Dreamgirls” because she can sing the stuffing out of anything. As Brooke, the mother with the least to do or otherwise known as Sister Mary Leo, Kimberly Vanbiesbrouck has some great dance steps and stops the show with her performance of the song “Costco Queen.”
The moves along quickly though at 20 songs after a while all the songs seem to sound the same and the show could use with some editing however such crowd favorites such as Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Minivan, I'm Danny's Mom (sung beautifully by Jennifer Chada, however no where in the rest including when she names each of her children does she mention Danny again), Not Gonna Take it Anymore, and The Kids Are Finally Asleep had the audience eating out of the palm of cast and creators hands.
However all that said as I looked around and judging by expressions on a lot of the women's faces I could tell that this was a show that most in the audience got due to the fact that they could see a lot of themselves up on stage and for an audience life experience can be as strong a bond as motherhood.
MOTHERHOOD THE MUSICAL is playing at the Royal George Theater though June 17rd. Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays t 7:30 pm., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. And Sundays 5:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com by calling 800.982.2787 or at the Royal George Theatre box office, 1641 North Halsted Street. For additional ticket information, visit www.theroyalgeorgetheatre.com.