"Motherhood: The Musical" is a funny, sweet, sometimes tender and always snarky comedy that is well worth the price of a babysitter and a box of tissues.
You'll need the tissues. This musical will move you to tears. Mostly that is because you'll laugh so hard you'll cry. But sometimes the tears will be real as you relate to the joy of being "Danny's mom" or see a glimpse of your future once the kids are grown and gone.
The story is loosely woven around a surprise baby shower for Amy, played by Madeline Duffy-Feins, an about-to-deliver first-time mom who is just as naïve as the rest of us were about the road ahead. Her wonderful neighbors throw her a surprise baby shower during which they impart some veteran mom wisdom.
There's Tasha, played by Melody Betts, who really knows how to belt out the "baby weight" blues. She's a newly divorced single mom of two who used to drive a sexy red convertible, but "took a wrong turn down Sesame Street" and ended up driving a minivan. There's Brooke (Kimberly Vanbiesbrouck), the harried working mom who loves her smartphone and is the "Costco Queen" atop her throne of Kirkland toilet paper. And there's the slightly frumpy stay-at-home mom, Barb, played perfectly by Jen Chada, who left everyone giggling uncomfortably as she tried to adjust a panty liner that was stuck to her thigh. She wants to go on strike, but clearly loves being "Danny's mom."
This show is aimed squarely at those of us who have labored and delivered, then endeavored to raise a child without completely losing ourselves in the process. The men in the audience on opening night simply did not relate, although author Sue Fabisch insists that she has seen men laugh just as hard as women.
And it's even weary-mom friendly. It runs for just 90 minutes without an intermission, so you can laugh until you cry and still be home and in bed by 10:30 p.m.
Tickets are $48-$65. The show runs through May 16 at the Royal George Theater, 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago, which offers the rare delight of elevated seats that ensure even short people can see over the head in front and enough legroom for ensure that even the tallest person isn't cramped. Get a group of 10 friends together and see the show for just $35 each. To get a taste of what you'll hear, download "The Kids are Finally Asleep." It's free.
If you happen to be pregnant and are expected to deliver between now and May 13, you can see the show for free, too. But if it's your first pregnancy, I'm not sure you'll sufficiently appreciate the humor. You might do better to wait until you've spent some time "dirty hiney wiping."
Don't worry. I predict, this show will have many encore performances. As long as there are kids and mothers, "Motherhood: The Musical" will find an audience.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.