Friday August 18th 2017

“Motherhood the Musical”

Let’s hear it for the girls! This new production at The Royal George Theatre is definitely for the women, so it may be perfect for this time of year when the men are glued to the tv sets with baseball, hockey play-offs and basketball getting ready for the same- women can get together for a “girl’s night out” and “Motherhood the Musical” is just right! This ninety minutes of  motherhood cliches and 2o plus  musical numbers has delighted sold out audiences all over the country with its journey and loving look at what it is to become a mother. Written by Sue Fabisch, a mother herself, this is the story of a young soon to be mother, Amy ( delightfully played by the adorable Madeline Duffy-Feins, who also plays her own mother in a novelty number called “Grannyland”) and her three older friends Barb ( deftly handled by Jen Chada),Brooke ( an energetic Kimberly Vanbiesbrouck) and recently divorced  Tasha ( Melody Betts, who will wow you with her vocal range and does a mean Gospel number in  “The Kids Are Finally Asleep”/ a show stopping number).

Some of the songs are original and others are used to full advantage in this comic look at experienced mothers letting the newbee in on the facts of life, after the baby is born. One of the cleverest bits is a song using the tune of “Memories” in their explanation of what takes place with the female body after childbirth called “How Great They were”, referring to mammeries! They also do a sharp number as homage to bulk shopping  “Costco Queen” where the entire living room set becomes a Costco market. Michael Schweikardt’s set is very functional and works well on the intimate stage of The Royal George and Bekka Lynch’s props are outstanding.

Directed by Lisa Shriver, who also handles the choreography is slick and precise and while the dance numbers are nothing large, they fit the characters and the premise of the story, which is simply a series of songs and skits dealing with the ups and downs of becoming a  “Mommy,Mommy,Mommy!”. There are some very funny moments such as “Minivan” where Amy is instructed about the life changes that take place once it is no longer just her and Mark ( her hubby that we never meet), and the hilarious “Do It”, the comical “Baby Weight Blues” that deals with the gain that never goes away and “Good Drugs Good Lovin’  “.

The characters are very close to people we all know; Barb, an over-worked stressed out mothe rof five who gets little or no support from her hubby, Brooke, a professional who works far to many hours and has very little quality time with the kids and Tasha, who is trying to balance work and dealing with the divorce and how her ex has become a hero to the kids on their visits because he never says no. These three ladies plan a baby shower for Amy and her soon to be motherhood membership ( one that cannot be cancelled).

One of the reasons, the audience ( almost 65% female) enjoys this journey is because they can relate to the people they see onstage. They see people they know! They see relatives! ( in particular their mothers) and of course many have enjoyed ( or not) the same experiences these actors portray in this 90 delightful minutes of comedy and music. While it is truly a show for women, the men can relate to some of what they see as well. Let’s face it, we all had mothers and if married, wives that they will see in some, if not all , their own exposure to how women handle becoming mothers. One of the numbers, ” I Leak” is not only adorable, but something most men know about from the women in their lives.

“Motherhood the Musical” is scheduled to continue at The Royal George Theatre ( main stage)  through June 17th with perofrmances as follows:

Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.,Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 5:30 p.m. and matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets range from $48-$65 and can be purchased at the box office located at 1641 N. Halsted, by phone at 800-982-2787 or online at www.theroyalgeorgetheatre.com

There is valet parking as well as some metered and the Royal George is easy to get to using public transportation ( North Avenue and Halsted)

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