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Review: Black Box Theatre's Motherhood: The Musical

Black Box Theatre’s current production of Motherhood: The Musical, directed by David M. Miller, earns my second “OMG-LOL!” rating for raucous hilarity and over the top performances.

An amazing cast of four women: Kristen Sindelar as Amy the soon-to-be-mom, Shana Kulhavey as the stay-at-home-mother of five, Lucy Dlamini as Brooke the somewhat angst-ridden lawyer, and Emmalee Hillburn as newly divorced Tina, make this show all the more engaging by their obvious enjoyment. They are genuinely having as much fun performing as the audience is watching them.

The action takes place at Amy’s home where her neighbors spring a surprise baby shower on her. While Amy waxes nostalgic about the prospect of becoming a mother in the opening number, “I’m Having a Baby,” her more experienced friends quickly burst that bubble with numbers that address nagging toddlers in “Mommy,” the loss of the “cool” car in “In My Minivan,” and leaking bladders and sagging breasts in “We Leak,” and “Ode to Boobs.”

Balancing out those numbers are the poignant, “I’m Danny’s Mom,” “Every Other Weekend,” and “When the Kids are Grown.” And, yes, I had tears in my eyes.

While these ladies would never be mistaken for the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, choreographer Beth Marsoun has them making some fun moves that enhance their numbers and it was a very pleasant surprise how, under the direction of Randin Letendre, just a keyboard, drums and bass guitar provided the perfect amount of music as accompaniment.

Because of the subject matter I was quite pleasantly surprised to see the number of men in the audience (although my husband was not an enthusiastic attendee more because he doesn’t particularly enjoy musicals not the subject matter). Although the estrogen did outweigh the testosterone, the men in the audience laughed just as hard and loudly as the women. I guess, after all, they have had to endure their wives’ maternal challenges and could also relate.

This show is a thoroughly deeeeeee-lightful, fast-paced 90 minute romp of 19 almost non-stop songs that will leave you wanting more.

Motherhood: The Musical continues at Black Box Theatre, 1623 – 5th Avenue in Moline, Friday and Saturday, November 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 13 at 2:00 p.m.

I’m Chris Hicks…break a leg.