note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Beverly Creasey
Ginger Lazarus has two new comedies about women and motherhood at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (through March 15th). Spiced Wine Productions’ “A BLESSING AND A CURSE: A DUET OF PLAYS ON MOTHERHOOD.”
The first one-act, “BENNY AND SERENA’S HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION,” is a send-up of the sacrificial mother, who suffers with a genius (Oh, boo hoo!) she begrudgingly calls a “chronic honor roll student.” Tadesh Inagaki (looking like Harry Potter and acting like Olivier!) is the math whiz who would rather crunch numbers than crash with his mom. Director Fran Weinberg gets clever, comic performances from Claire Mcclanahan as the long-suffering single mom, from Inagaki as the brilliant kid, from Gillian Gordon as his sweet, brainy girlfriend and from Cliff Odle and Sharon Mason as everyone else.
The gem of the evening is the second comedy, called “MARY.” Claire Mcclanahan is sensational as a hip grad student propositioned big time by an angel (the hilarious Cliff Odle). The surprise is that Lazarus wrote the script in verse. You’ll hardly notice—but if you do, and I did, those poetic lines are a gas! I couldn’t wait for the next, glorious verse to materialize and put poetry in motion!