A recent Facebook thread carried a passionate argument about whether childbirth was ecstatic or hideously painful. “Painful” voters found the ecstatic folk smug; the ecstatics hinted that the painful contingent were insufficiently maternal. Apparently Motherhood Out Loud, an evening of linked monologues on the theme of motherhood, comes down on the side of hideous parturition pain. But this is a generally lighthearted evening.
The pieces, organized by Susan Rose and Joan Stein, are the work of several playwrights, including some familiar to Denver Center attendees: Theresa Rebeck (Our House), Michele Lowe (Inana, Map of Heaven and the evil-hearted, hilarious Smell of the Kill, which was shown at the Avenue). Also, Lisa Loomer, whose Two Things You Don’t Talk About at Dinner featured a passionately political seder and ignited intense debate. Loomer contributes a touching piece about a mother whose seven-year-old son wants to go to a Purim party dressed as Queen Esther.
The vignettes also feature great-grandmotherhood, adoption from China, a Muslim mother with a teenage daughter, a woman dealing with an autistic son. “It’s a play for mothers or anyone who’s ever had a mother,” says director Bob Wells. “It has everything from tender pieces to very, very funny ones. There’s a cast of five women and one man: He plays a gay father who talks about his role as the mommy.”
The show opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. and runs Fridays and Saturdays (and select Thursdays and Sundays) through February 23, at the Avenue Theater, 417 East 17th Avenue; tickets are $18 to $26. For information, call 303-321-5925 or go to www.avenuetheater.com.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 10, 2 p.m.; March 1-2, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., March 9, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., March 22, 7:30 p.m.; April 12-13, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., April 20, 7:30 p.m.; April 26-27, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., May 10, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., May 11, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Jan. 18. Continues through Feb. 21, 2013