by Natalia Storie
By sheer coincidence, I am writing this review as I listen to my own six-month-old cry through her sleep training–a subject that is lightly touched, harshly criticized, and even yearned for at different points in the show. Cry It Out by Molly Smith Metzler is a heartfelt dramedy put on by Something Something Theater and directed by Whitney Morton Woodcock.
The play follows the lives of three mothers who, through coffee dates, navigate the complicated time that is postpartum. Meagan Jones and Robin Carson portray Jessie and Lina– two neighbors who, aside from being new moms, have seemingly very little in common. They meet for daily coffee breaks while their babies nap and talk about everything a new mom struggles with. From worrying about peeing themselves to the hard decision or need to return to work, they quickly grow close. Jones does a lovely job throughout the play of portraying a new mom who is understanding, eager to be a good friend, always filled with advice but also struggling with her own insecurities and doubts about her life choices and motherhood. Carson played Lina with such appropriate sass and a faint Long Island accent that really enhanced her performance. Both actors managed to give heartbreaking and heartwarming performances of these two complex characters.
The audience doesn’t see the third mother, Adrienne, played by Gabriella De Brequet, until much later but she is introduced early through her husband, Mitchell, played by Eddie Diaz. As a new mom myself, it was Diaz’s portrayal of this worried and bumbling father that really impacted me the most. You don’t often see a new mom through a new father’s eyes, and Diaz was so endearing and believable as a new dad who is worried about his wife. De Brequet gives a powerful performance as Adrienne, a character who may be struggling with postpartum depression. The character is so special and significant in our current climate, and with our need for feminism and female empowerment, De Brequet’s portrayal of this woman was spot on. Every character was relatable in different ways and I found myself siding with them, disagreeing with them, and overall just sympathizing. It reminded me of the posts from the many mom groups on social media, where everybody knows how to do it the right way and everybody else is wrong, but you really just want to reach out and hug everyone because they’re all just doing the best they can.
My only complaint was that the fake baby prop used in a few scenes was a little distracting. While the actors did a fine job being frazzled parents, the prop baby had me questioning how old the baby was supposed to be. At one point, Adrienne mentions her baby is only seven weeks, which leads us to believe the other women’s babies are older, however with the prop being so tiny, it made it a little hard to believe.It just got me caught up on timelines.
Metzler’s script is thoughtful, funny, and real. There were several moments that made me laugh out loud and overall, I felt that it shed light on topics that are very common but not always discussed. From breastfeeding in public,alcoholism, and to being ok with the mom that isn’t like you, this script nicely handles them in a real way. All in all, please go see this show! If you’re a new mom or dad, know a mom, or have a mom, you will enjoy this show!
“Cry it Out” is on stage from February 13 through March 1st at the Center of Collaborative Learning at 37 Pennington street downtown. Tickets can be purchased at www.somethingsomethingtheatre.com or at (520) 468-6111.