Left – (rear l-r) Amelia Cristo, Jacqueline Hoy, Rebecca Moore and (front) Ziggy Clements. Photos – Matt Deller
There aren’t too many surprises in Motherhood the Musical. The show, created by American Sue Fabisch and adapted for Australian audiences, covers the expected territory – the frustrations and demands of having kids, the endless soccer runs, the loss of sex drive and the joys of bulk shopping at Costco. Along the way are sentimental ballads, a fair share of hokey dancing and relevant chatter holding the songs together.
The four female cast members are very different personalities united by the tenuous premise of a neighbourhood mothers’ group. There’s the time-poor working mum (Ziggy Clements), the full-time mum (Amelia Christo), the divorced mum (Jacqueline Hoy) and the about-to-pop pregnant woman (Rebecca Moore). The various personalities – the naïve eagerness of the about-to-be mum against the complaining cynicism of the full-time mom are often over-played, turning the women more into one-dimensional stereotypes than flesh and blood characters. They sing and talk about things that any mother will find familiar and probably funny, but the material often lacks nuance and deeper insight.
As a collective quartet, the women are uneven, with various levels of singing and dancing abilities among them. Youngest woman, Moore, comes out the strongest – her voice is most consistent throughout and she shines in her two very different solos. The others have their moments including Christo’s rendition of I’m Danny’s Mom and Jacqueline Hoy, complete with feather boa, singing about her Weight Watchers challenges in Baby Weight Blues. The music draws on familiar rock, 50s tunes, blues and gospel rifts with basic choreography (by Sue-Ellen Shook) embellishing the vocals with simple, lively patterns.
Motherhood the Musical is an entertaining enough way to pass 90 minutes as long as you are a mother yourself and are not looking for hard-hitting analysis on the theme. If humourous songs about incontinence and meddling grandmothers don’t sound like a fun night out, give this one a miss.
HIT Productions presents
Motherhood the Musical
by Sue Fabisch
Director Terence O’Connell
Venue: Athenaeum Theatre
Dates: Feb 11 - 27, 2011
Bookings: 03 9650 1500 | www.ticketmaster.com.au
Touring Nationally - visit www.motherhoodthemusical.com.au for tour dates