Faulty memories and dangerous politics. Life seen through two generations of women.
One of the early lines from this play is, “People have terrible memories and they’re never happy in the present.” Which could be interpreted as, many people never thoroughly analyze the past and many people conveniently imagine the good old days have passed them by, lamenting the present as the pits. These lines set the tone for this witty, fast-moving, relevant and prescient play.
What Would Our Mother’s Think? from Bohemian Dream, is written by Brent Solomon and directed by Terry Boyd. This play is broken up into two acts. The first act centers on two woman friends in Seattle circa 1973. Toni, played by Jennifer Makenas and Kandi played by Sara Schweid meet up for a coffee and discuss the Vietnam War, Roe Vs Wade, women’s rights, the Watergate Scandal, coffee and bagels. While many of those topics are serious, the play manages to introduce them as naturally as milk froth rises in hot milk. To break up the political talk, the characters constantly pepper their conversation with jokes and witty asides. The line, “War is just an ad for America” is countered with a quip about cappuccino and how such sophisticated coffee will never catch on in a provincial fishing village like Seattle. We’re never lambasted by the politics, just aware and alert to the play’s intentions.
The second act is almost a mirror of the first. Scoot to the near future. In 2019 in a coffee shop, ominously branded as “Melania’s Coffee,” the offspring of those initial women also discuss politics and life. Angie played by Amy Gentry and Deborah played by Cindy Giese rehash similar but darker conversations about America at war and dangerous politics. Now America is the, “United States of fear and shopping.” While history is repeating itself to a degree, 2019 reveals human progress as a farce. This is a dystopian world where women have no rights to their bodies and their offspring belong to the state. Despite the miserable outlook, watch out for jokes about zombie films.
The set is simple, the costumes look about right for the eras and the lighting is good. The Studio Theater at the Seattle Center Armory, is a small and intimate stage space, putting the audience in close proximity with the actors. The actors are excellent. Their delivery is sharp and convincing.
While some of this description might have you thinking this play is a piece for its time, it’s more than just about present day politics. It touches on universal topics and it’s amusing to boot. Recommended.
What Would Our Mother’s Think? by Brent Solomon. Seattle Center, Seattle Center Armory, Theatre Puget Sound’s Studio (1st Floor), 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109. March 25 @ 9:45pm / March 31 @ 8:15pm / April 1 @ 2:45pm. Runs a little less than an hour. Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-would-our-mothers-think-tickets-31589934344 $10.