Embark on a heartfelt journey as this captivating play delves into the intricacies of the mother-daughter bond through a transformative road trip. With authenticity and depth, it explores mental health, family dynamics, and resilience, painting a nuanced portrayal of these themes. Anchored by powerful performances, the play strikes a delicate balance between heartfelt moments and clever humor, encouraging reflection on the complexities of love and support within family relationships. Prepare for an engaging and thought-provoking experience that captures the beautiful complexities of the human experience.
Written and Produced by Eleanor Vigneault
Directed and Developed by Augusta Mariano
Stage Manager- Maddy Glave
Sound Design- Jeremy Robinson
Set Design- Mike Mariano
Board Operator- Ezra Fisher
Venue: ACTORS COMPANY (THE LITTLE THEATER), 916 N.Formosa Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, 323-463-4639
TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased here
In this captivating drama, skillfully directed by Augusta Mariano, audiences are taken on a poignant journey that delves into the complex and often frustrating dynamics within a mother-daughter relationship. Anchored by the genuine and raw performances of Anita Barone and Eleanor Vigneault, this play delivers heartfelt moments that only family can provide.
The story unfolds as the daughter faces a series of setbacks, including getting fired from her job. However, when the mother's aunt passes away, she pays her daughter a visit, and together they embark on an unplanned road trip to Chicago for the aunt's funeral. Not only is the daughter struggling professionally, but she is also not in a relationship, and her apartment is in disarray, which disappoints her mother. This journey allows them to confront their complex relationship and find solace in each other's company amidst their individual struggles."
At the narrative's core is the revelation that the mother is grappling with deep depression and relies on alcohol as a form of self-medication. Meanwhile, the daughter assumes the role of caretaker, both physically and emotionally, as she takes the wheel in their relationship. This dynamic showcases Vigneault's intelligent and nuanced writing, as the daughter's journey becomes a powerful metaphor for her own personal growth and transformation. Additionally, the daughter becomes the driving force behind their road trip to Chicago for her aunt's funeral, as the mother cannot make the long drive herself. This adds another layer to the daughter's responsibility and her pivotal role in facilitating the mother's attendance at the funeral. The script intelligently portrays the daughter's unwavering support. It highlights the depth of their bond, underscoring the daughter's selflessness and willingness to go the extra mile for her mother.
Anita Barone and Eleanor Vigneault deliver exceptional performances, bringing authenticity and rawness to their roles. Barone captures the nuances of her character's depression and portrays the layers of emotional turmoil with genuine depth. Vigneault gracefully portrays the daughter's frustrations and complexities, providing moments that resonate with the audience's own experiences of family dynamics. The chemistry between the two actors is palpable, showcasing the depth of their connection and the emotional journey they embark on together.
The excellent set design by Mike Mariano adds another layer of immersion to the production. Despite the small space, the set seamlessly transforms from the daughter's apartment couch to the car they drive, a hotel bed, and finally, a pew. The clever utilization of the set enhances the storytelling, providing visual cues that help bring the scenes to life.
While the play's emotional impact is profound, some viewers may find it short. However, it is worth noting that this is often the case for shows in the fringe festival. Expanding the play into a complete two acts could allow the heavy emotions to sink in even more profoundly. Nevertheless, the show does an excellent job of addressing hard conversations within a family and fearlessly delves into the depths of feelings.
This production invites reflection on the universal experiences of familial relationships and the importance of finding forgiveness within ourselves. It encourages viewers to embrace the raw and genuine moments that only family can provide as they navigate the complexities of love and support.
For those seeking a thought-provoking and emotionally rich theatrical experience, this play offers a compelling narrative brought to life by real and raw performances, skillful storytelling, and a transformative set design. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in this dramedy exploration of family bonds, forgiveness, and self-acceptance.