Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Matter Familias"

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note: entire contents copyright 2004 by Beverly Creasey

Laughing Matters

Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

There is something new under the sun. Itís actually under the lights but no matter. Or rather yes, matter of fact. Itís called MATTER FAMILIAS and itís at the Boston Playwrights Theatre for the next two weeks. Even before Ginger Lazarusí fabulously lunatic play takes off, mother hen Kate Snodgrass steals some laughs warning all us chicks to toe the mark.

Then Lazarus pulls out the rug. I havenít had such fun since FUDDY MEERS but Lazarus one-ups the wacky FUDDY. And you cannot guess how she does it. You have no idea when intermission rolls around, where the play is going---and Iím no Matter Hari. Iím not going to tell. Suffice it to say, the comedy is a class (ic) act.

To tell you Lazarus has written a madcap farce on the subject of adoption just doesnít cut it. MATTER FAMILIAS is to adoption what a fish is to a bicycle (as the feminist mantra goes). Just go see for yourself.

Director Wesley Savickís cast is to die for. The singular Helen McElwain is the outrageous mother-to-be of a slightly overgrown child, dashingly portrayed by Gus Kelley. Nancy Carroll is dead on as the overbearing (in every sense) grandma and Robert D. Murphy is deadpan heaven as her television numbed hubby.

Barlow Adamson is his funniest yet, hurling himself into the air in an inverted expression of abject despair. Kortney Adams plays straight man (Oh, what am I saying?) to Karen ďMalĒ Malmeís wickedly naughty, adorably butch girlfriend. And Haddon Kime outdoes himself again (and again and again) with sound effects which rival Lazarusí insane dialogue. Richard Chambers goes baby happy, embedding little tykes into the walls like spiders in cocoons. Iím still laughing myself silly.

"Matter Familias" (2 - 19 December)
949 Commonwealth Avenue, BOSTON, MA
1 (617) 358-PLAY

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide