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MOMologues shed a humorous light on the joys, and pains of motherhood

Show runs at Paris Gibson Square Feb 16-18, 24-25

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If you’ve ever been a mom, had a mom, watched someone doing mom-like things, or simply wish you were a mom, there’s something in the Paris Gibson Square’s production of “MOMologues” for you to enjoy.

The production, starring Trish Roberts, Tiffany Waldren, Eva Hribikova Maydole and Alison Palmiotto, was written by Lisa Rafferty, Sheila Eppolito and Stefanie Cloutier. It’s billed as, “An original comedy about motherhood (that) rips away the gauzy mask of parenthood to reveal what all mothers know but don’t always talk about: it’s overwhelming and exhausting, but also very, very funny.”

The show runs Feb 16-18 and again Feb. 24-25. The Feb. 16-17 shows are at 7 p.m., there’s two shows on Feb. 18, one at 1 p.m. and another at 4 p.m., and the show on Feb. 24 is at 7 p.m. and the show on Feb. 25 starts at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Tickets to the 7 p.m. performances are $12 and tickets to the afternoon shows that include brunch are $20 per person.

Before getting any further along in this review, I should include this disclosure — I have never had any children of my own. That may have taken away a little from my understanding of certain things these women described, but, only on the surface level. When you go see Titanic, for instance, you didn’t think “Well, I’ve never been on a ship that’s struck by an iceberg, so I can’t relate to THAT.”

No. But, what a story like this does do for people who HAVE lived through motherhood, is give a knowing nod, a self-recognizing chuckle to anyone who’s been in these situations.

The cast of MOMologues at Paris Gibson Square perform on Sunday.
The cast of MOMologues at Paris Gibson Square perform on Sunday.

The show starts before all four women are expecting and talk about how some people, such as Waldren’s character, had no problem conceiving their first child, while others, such as Roberts’ character, tried everything they could possibly think of and still had trouble making it happen.

The show progresses into pregnancy and the struggles, along with the lighter moments, that that entails. Each mom wore a baby bump to add to the immersion, and not only that but they were able to wear outfits that looked as natural with the baby-bumps as they did without them. Plus, they were able to change into, and out of them, during the program with no problems whatsoever.

After the giving birth portion, each woman talks about the truths involved with newborns and how sometimes all they really want is two whole minutes without any screaming, feeding or changing.

One of the more memorable bits involved one of the characters talking about how long she planned on breast feeding her son, which from my non-breast-feeding experience seemed really long, which added some cheeky humor in that when you think about it, these are the types of things nobody tells you when you’re a new mom. How long DO you breast feed for? When does it start getting weird? How are you supposed to know?

Trish Roberts, Tiffany Waldren, Alison Palmiotto and Eva Hribikova Maydole star in MOMologues at Paris Gibson Square.
Trish Roberts, Tiffany Waldren, Alison Palmiotto and Eva Hribikova Maydole star in MOMologues at Paris Gibson Square.

With shows like this one, it helps to have distinct characters because when you’re all talking about similar things, you hate to get them all mashed together. Here, it was done with ease thanks to the various accents, looks, backstories, temperament and overall style. Waldren was the slightly anal-retentive “everything will be organized in my day planner and nothing is going wrong” mother. Roberts was the “What the fuck is this shit? I NEED some coffee right now or I’m going to blow my lid,” mother. Maydole was the regularly talking-on-the-phone-with-her-mother, mother, and finally Palmiotto was the “boys will be boys, he’s OK, when I was his age, I was driving a truck and eating mud and getting into things I probably shouldn’t have and I turned out OK” mother.

Those are narrow generalizations, but they give you the idea of their characters, at least. They do change slightly as the show goes on, too, but you’ll have to go see how exactly yourself.

You can tell that the story was written by real mothers because, as the show description says, they do not gloss over anything that might seem “unpleasant.” Things such as wanting more sex when you’re pregnant to then not having any desire at all after the children are born, to losing your child in a department store, to how things change when you have your second, and/or third child, to a marathon of “things your mother told you” that likely, to me, was the highlight of the whole performance.

Each of the moms yelling the old favorites such as “tie your shoes!, Eat your vegetables! Because I said so! You’ll understand when you’re older,” and other classics. Another favorite part was when Roberts talks about her little one saying his first swear word and saying, without any irony, “where the fuck did he learn that?”

Finally, at the performance on Sunday there was also brunch served during intermission, and wine/lemonade/water served throughout the show. The brunch was light, but tasted good, and the white wine/sparking wine, was a nice complement to the food.

If I were to pick any criticisms of the show, I’d say that there were a few brief moments where one of the ladies would trip over a line, or need a few moments to remember one, but, they were VERY slight and did not take away from the performances at all. They had a lot of lines to learn and in a short amount of time, at that. They each did a marvelous job in that regard.

It maybe would have been nice to see some babies in the show, either dolls or real children, to add to the immersion a bit, but, it wasn’t something that was a glaring omission. Also, as I mentioned at the top of the review, several of the jokes seemed to be designed specifically for mothers, so if you weren’t one you might not find it AS funny.

In the end, though, I’d recommend everyone see “MOMologues” at Paris Gibson Square. It’d make for a great Valentine’s Day week outing, or simply a nice break from the stresses of real, actual parenting by laughing at, and relating with, what some of the things parents go through each day.

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