Missing Piece Theatre’s ‘Motherload’ asks ‘Oh mother, where art thou?’
Review by John K. Adams
Motherload is a lively collection of mainly humorous vignettes, examining our complex and conflicted relationship with the concept and person of – Mom.
“Love Me, Chicken Tender,” opens the show, in which two sisters (Michele Tannen and Anna Marie Angeloni) struggle to realize their dreams without dishonoring their mother’s dreams for them, through their inherited café.
“Re-Play” is about a director (Schno Mozingo) using an acting audition as a form of surrogate “mommy therapy.” Joyce Sindel’s “audition” definitely gives him a run for his money.
Anita Borcia and Jacque Lynn Colton are riveting in their complex and vivid portrayal of competitive sisters who co-write romance novels in “Forever Fog.”
The finale, “Flipped Out,” portrays a long-suffering and ambitious stage mother tightening her emotional grip on her successful daughter (Cheryl Bon). It is hilariously frightening. Mimi Chen glows as the stop-at-nothing stage mother.
Michele Tannen, Ellen Bienenfeld, Michael Miranda and John Patrick Cavanaugh take multiple roles within this potpourri of plays about our respective and universal mothers.
Producer/Director Kaz Matamura keeps the energy of these short plays light and spontaneous. Kudos to her providing a showcase to so many talented performers.
All the pieces are written by the prolific Felix Racelis, who develops his material in exploration of the Filipino-American and Asian-American experience. Each mother he portrays here is familiar to us all in concept if (hopefully) not in ownership.
“Motherload” is staged weekends through May 22nd at the Missing Piece Theatre located at 2811 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank. For tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (818) 563-1100.