Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Review – Dear Mom

Dear MomMy girlfriend and I went to see a new play at the Penn’s Landing Playhouse called Dear Mom. This is the second show that I’ve seen at this theater – the first was You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up! – and it was terrific. Dear Mom tells the story of a mother and daughter whose relationship is a mixture of love, bitterness and disappointment. There’s plenty of humor along the way and I shed more than one tear during the play’s more serious moments.

Dear Mom was inspired by a book comprised of letters daughters wrote for their mothers after they passed away. Reenactments of these letters were featured throughout the play by the impressive actress Kelsey Lidsky, as well as through a variety of engaging audio and visual special effects. In addition to the book itself playing a role in the story, these letters helped illustrate the myriad complexities of familial relationships.

Going into this play I had no expectations; I was just hoping to be entertained. By the end of it, I was deeply moved. It told a beautifully deep story that was expertly acted by Katherine Barron and the even-better Frances McGarry. And despite not being a daughter, its message resonated with me and the best line in the entire play was the last. Unfortunately, I don’t want to share it with you because it will spoil the plot. However, I can tell you this: If you want to see a wonderful play about human emotion, buy a ticket to Dear Mom. It’ll make you laugh, cry and hug those you love a little bit tighter.

Dear Mom is running through June 4, so buy your tickets before it’s too late.

Synopsis 

Every woman has stories to tell about her mother. A woman’s relationship with her mother models the way she connects to the world and is a fundamental force in the way she is formed. Whether the relationship is filled with gratitude, guilt, anger, longing, blame, forgiveness – so much between daughter and mother is left unsaid. 

What if you could write a letter to your mother and tell her what you really feel about her? The pride you felt when she went to bat for you against the school principal who wronged you, the questions you have for an unknown birth mother, the anger you felt when she left you unprotected against an alcoholic father during his violent episodes, the sadness you feel as she retreats from you, slipping into Alzheimer’s… Every mother/daughter relationship has its own intricacies, but the magnitude of the relationship in its complexities and the effect it has on all of our lives is universal. And in the expression of feelings in letters unsent comes a chance to gain perspective on this most elemental of relationships, and integrate the past into the present, empowering ourselves as grown women. 

Dear Mom is a play, written by longtime collaborators Jay Falzone and Nancy Holson. It is inspired by letters written by real daughters to their mothers. 

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3 thoughts on “Review – Dear Mom

  1. Pingback: Review - Dear Mom | Tinseltown Times

  2. Like your review, Michael. I have met Fran. She is one of the contributors to my upcoming book. She is irrepressible. I imagine her performance was as refreshing as her personality. Thanks for the heads up. I will definitely be going to see “Dear Mom” when it plays in NYC. You just gave me reason no. 3 . . .

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