When discussing my play Love Is Strange recently with somebody, they asked me if it was a play I would invite my mother to. I was taken aback by that question, and I had to give it some thought. Don’t get me wrong. I want everyone to see this play. It’s a work I’m proud off and there is an amazing group of actors and a very gifted director bringing it to life. But it is dark and disturbing and graphic and it’s not for everyone. So, would I invite my mom to it? A little bit about Mom…
My mom passed away a couple of years ago, and to say she was my biggest fan would be a bit of an understatement. To her, I was more talented (and better looking) than George Clooney and Brad Pitt combined. I heard her say so myself, many times. When she was still with us, she would come see everything I did: theatre, standup, improv. You name it. EVERYTHING. I subjected her to all kinds of performances and she was always up for it.
My mom was very artistic herself. She filled our house with art and singing. Our walls were adorned with her paintings. She would walk around, singing constantly, belting out Broadway tunes as she did the housework. My sisters would emerge from their bedroom, kicking in with three-part harmony. As a kid, I often felt like I was stuck in a musical theatre nightmare. I was like the tone-deaf member of the Von Trapp family, wanting nothing more than to escape outside and play sports. Of course, looking back on it, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My mom really instilled a love of theatre, and all things creative, on my sisters and me.
My playwriting is something my mother never got a chance to experience. By the time I started down that path, she was in a nursing home, and she left us soon after. I’m sure she’s caught most of my productions up in heaven though, and she’s probably telling Tennessee Williams and Shakespeare just how much they can learn from me. My mom would enjoy my plays, as much as she enjoyed everything I did. But would I invite my mom to Love Is Strange? A little bit about the play…
Normally I’m sort of fluffy and maybe a bit sentimental in my writing. I usually write the kind of plays mothers would like. Love Is Strange is not fluffy and sentimental. It covers a disturbing subject matter. It has graphic language and violence. It’s not the kind of thing my mother would be naturally drawn to.
So, to answer my original question: Is it a play I would invite my mother to? No, it’s isn’t a play I would invite my mother to. I wouldn’t have to invite her. She’s my mom. She’d be there anyway.
Love Is Strange opens this Friday. Details below.
Love is Strange
April 4th- 26th
Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company
The Abreact Performance Space
1301 W Lafayette (The Lafayette Lofts) #113
Detroit, MI 48226