Review: MOTHER FREAKING HOOD! is Mother Freaking Funny in Kansas City

By: May. 31, 2015
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Mother Freaking Hood! is not a play anyone should see once, because that is not near enough times to catch all the humor that causes the audience to erupt with laughter throughout the two-act play. Mother Freaking Hood! opened on Saturday May 30 at the Goppert Theatre inside Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri to roars of laughter. The Moonshine Variety Company production is without a doubt the funniest musical comedy of the theater season in Kansas City.

Mother Freaking Hood! is a two-act musical with book, music, and lyrics by Kansas City natives Julie Dunlap and Sara Stotts. The 19 songs are outrageously funny as they take the audience through a journey of motherhood from the pee-stick to graduation. The two playwrights have masterfully filled the pages with so much humor that like the movies Airplane and The Naked Gun it must be seen several times to catch it all. From the choreography, the terrific orchestra, to costuming by Georgianna Buchanan (the first time I saw dancing pills when I had not yet taken any myself) everything meshes for an extraordinary evening of entertainment.

In regards to Mother Freaking Hood! if laughter could be measured on a pee-stick, it would definitely be a positive. Everything about the production comes together to such a high level that I could easily see it opening on Broadway. You can only expect belly laughs from such songs as "Has Anyone Seen My Baby?", "Poo-Wop Playgroup," "Prayer for a Late Bloomer," "Hormones on Parade," or "Last Freaking Song" among others.

Heidi Van marvelously directs and choreographs the hilarious tribute to motherhood that may have more meaning to women than men. As one audience member said, "You have to experience being a mother to understand all that is said." I must admit I did not get all the inferences, which I am sure is because either I could not directly relate to the dialogue or I was laughing too hard to hear the actors on stage. Either way it was a glorious night of entertainment that will not easily be forgotten.

Jennifer Mays is magnificent as the goody-goody mother who is delighted at having another child. Sara Carolynn Kenney gives a superb performance as the first-time mother, who looks forward to the experience as long as she has an Epidural to help her through it. Nancy Nail is fantastic as Marcia Burger, the older expectant mother who had gone through it before and had not planned to do it again.

Vanessa Severo and Anthony J. Gasbarre, III make up the supporting cast, each performing as several characters throughout the production. Severo plays the birthing instructor, grocery store assistant manager, princess mommy, and Broeckelmann. She also appears as a blue and white capsule dancing across the stage with eyes only for the dancing Xanax tablet. Gasbarre, the only male in the cast, is hilarious in his portrayal of Alex, Mr. Xanax, a waiter, and Brennan.

Every member of the cast, whether a starring or supporting role, have exceptional voices and wonderful comedic timing. It would be impossible to pick out one role better than another, as each of the cast have star potential beyond the realm of Kansas City stages. The cast is supported by an orchestra conducted by Daniel Doss on Keyboard, Tyler Harvey on Keyboard, Steve Riley on Drums, Danny Kaul on Bass, and Joe Schoonover on Guitar.

If you already have seen Mother Freaking Hood! go see it again to find out what you missed. If you have not seen Mother Freaking Hood! do not miss your opportunity to see one of the funniest shows to come to Kansas City. Purchase tickets online at the Moonshine Variety Company website. Photo courtesy of the Moonshine Variety Company.

What a sneak peek? Check out the video trailer below!


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