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Motherhood Out Loud is a charming evening of theater

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Motherhood Out Loud, which opened at the Avenue Theater last week, is a collection of short plays on motherhood by several well-known playwrights. You meet bored mothers, elderly mothers, stepmothers, adoring mothers, a mother accompanying her tween-age autistic son on his first date, another trying to protect a seven-year-old son who likes wearing sparkly princess dresses, a mother who happens to be a gay male. While there are no out-and-out evil mothers here -- these people do exist -- and most of the pieces are moving rather than acerbic, the evening isn't Hallmark Card sentimental. It's witty, well-balanced and well put-together, and the cast of five women and one man performs the show with integrity and heart. See also: - Motherhood Out Loud at the Avenue Theater - Steve Burge gives us a lot to love at the Avenue Theater - PHAMALY's Quadrapalooza is homegrown...and very funny

Nor is it for women only. There were several men in the audience last Friday, laughing heartily and reminiscing in the lobby afterwards.

Most of us couldn't help misting up now and then, remembering our own mothers or interactions with our children. The first-date scenario reminded me of my daughter's first date -- uncomplicated by autism, but nonetheless stressful. She was perhaps twelve. I drove her and the boy to a movie, sat down as far away from them as possible to watch, then connected with them in the lobby afterwards and drove the boy home. It was mid-afternoon, and as far as I could tell, they hadn't exchanged a single word. Though he did buy her some popcorn.

Our full review will appear next week -- but don't wait until then to check out this charmer. Motherhood Out Loud runs through February 23, with shows Fridays, Saturdays and some Thursdays (but not tonight) at 417 East 17th Avenue. For more information, call 303-321-5925 or go to www.avenuetheater.com.

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