BWW Reviews: MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD Opens at the Off Center Theatre in Kansas City

BWW Reviews: MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD Opens at the Off Center Theatre in Kansas City

Andy Parkhurst and Michael Grayman describe their current production of Motherhood Out Loud as, "our Valentine to all the parents who have supported, inspired, and endured us." Opening night for Motherhood Out Loud, an Off-Broadway Kansas City premiere produced by Spinning Tree Theatre at the Off Center Theatre is Saturday February 8, with previews the two preceding nights.

Written by Leslie Ayvazian, Brooke Berman, David Cale, Jessica Goldberg, Beth Henley, Lameece Issaq, Claire LaZebnik, Lisa Loomer, Michele Lowe, Marco Pennette, Theresa Rebeck, Luanne Rice, Anne Weisman, and Cheryl L. West was conceived by Susan Rose and Joan Stein. Utilizing Chapters instead of Acts the play takes the audience through the cycle of life from Chapter One: Fast Births to Chapter Five: Coming Home.

Andy Parkhurst, Managing Director of Spinning Tree Theatre, directs the small talented cast that gives a new appreciation (or maybe fear) of being a mother. Parkhurst makes his play-directing debut with the production and has previously co-directed or choreographed several Spinning Tree productions.

Julie Shaw returns to Spinning Tree Theatre where she appeared in the Fantastics and Hello Again. Along with Spinning Tree, she has performed on stages across Kansas City including The Coterie Theatre, Musical Theater Heritage, The Unicorn Theatre, and American Heartland Theatre among others. It is always a delight to see Shaw on the stage and on Friday, she gave the audience a taste of her diversity early in the program in a segment titled Squeeze, Hold, Release by Cheryl W. West. One moment the audience is erupting in laughter at her monologue and actions and in the next instance, she has tears in her eyes as the soliloquy takes a sensitive twist.

Rick Truman makes his debut with Spinning Tree Theatre in several of the insightful segments of the often-humorous play. He shows a good sense of comedic timing describing how he wants to tell Santa there is no mom. Later his sensitive side comes out as he tells about moving back in with his mother and not being able to leave her because of her declining health. Local credits include Musical Theatre Heritage, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and The Coterie Theatre.

Kelly Main is also making her debut with Spinning Tree in the amusing production of Motherhood Out Loud. In one segment, she tells of her son's birth, him growing up, and his joining the military. Her performance as she tells of how she copes with her son going to war is very strong and powerful. She has appeared in Kansas City at the American Shakespeare Festival, The Unicorn Theatre, and The Coterie Theatre among others.

Natalie Liccardello returns to Spinning Tree, having last appeared in Master Class as Sophie. Kansas City credits include the Kansas City Actors Theatre, The Living Room Theatre, and Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Her talent shines through as she tackles pieces that reflect humor, anger, and the protective nature of a mother on the stage.

Motherhood Out Loud continues at the Off Center Theatre in Crown Center through February 16. Purchase tickets by calling 816-545-6000.

Photo by Manon Halliburton courtesy of Spinning Tree Theatre.

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Steve Wilson Steve Wilson is a professional writer, artist, and photographer living in the Kansas City metropolitan area. For the last two years, he has been writing theatrical reviews, covering more than a dozen theatrical companies in the area. Previously he has written comedy material for nationally known entertainers, taught comedy writing at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and has had two books published. He continues to write for an internet news service covering sports, travel, and art in the area.

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