Teatro La Quindicina: “Mother of the Year”

After the disappointing Teatro La Quindicina season debut of Connie in Egypt, Mack and I were looking to the mid-season romp Mother of the Year to help redeem our hope for the season. It did, somewhat.

Mother of the Year is a companion piece to one of the shows playing at the Free Will Shakespeare Festival, Titus Andronicus (a nod to the current economy, ticket holders gain a $10 discount to Titus). From the website:

“Set in Edmonton during the 1980’s, Mother of the Year unfurls the dramatically hilarious saga of a pair of rival meat packing companies and the families who run them. It’s a fast-paced, shockingly Shakespearean display of simmering resentments, disastrous marital alliances, quiet double-crosses, and bold betrayals, all played out in a world strongly reminiscent of such classic Reagan Era prime time soap operas as Dynasty, Dallas, and Knot’s Landing.”

I was a little afraid all of the 80s references would turn us off (in the same vein as Cocktails at Pam’s), but thankfully, they weren’t overdone. There were just a few references to neighbourhoods that had the over-40 set laughing.

As a whole, notwithstanding the outlandish personalities and ridiculous plot twists, Mother of the Year was fairly enjoyable. The Lemoine-ian quips were out in full force, and the Teatro regulars spun them into gold. In particular, I enjoyed Sheri Somerville as the satisfyingly blunt escort Mrs. Jones, and Davina Stewart as the dutiful Persis Renshaw (what a name!). At the same time, although I know the second half was meant to satirize the inane plot twists inherent in soaps, the rapid-fire way in which they came made it seem like Lemoine just didn’t care anymore – a contrast to his usual whimsical, but clever endings.

Mother of the Year runs until July 25 at the Varscona Theatre.

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