‘Mom’s the Word 3: Nest 1/2 Empty’ play review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Over the past 23 years, the Mom’s the Word series has explored various themes including raising a family, marriage, and women’s lives. Now the moms are back, middle aged, and they talk about their children moving out of their houses in Mom’s the Word 3: Nest 1/2 Empty.
The play stars Jill Daum, Alison Kelly, Robin Nichol, Barbara Pollard, and Deborah Williams as they talk about their children being grown up, no longer living at home, and how the mothers adapt to their houses being “1/2 empty.” If you saw the first two plays, you would find that a lot of things have changed since the series began, with some of the moms being married and some of them divorced.
The moms explain their stories in the form of monologues and they use various things in the set—which consists of boxes you might find in a house when someone is moving—to show what they are talking about. Also, the other moms get involved when there are other characters in a mom’s story. Each of the moms has a different story. Robin talks about her children visiting her, Deborah discusses her family’s dog passing away, Alison shares her many experiences with a swimming instructor named Luigi when she does a water aerobics class, Jill learns about Alzheimer’s Disease when her husband is diagnosed with the illness, and Barbara talks about going through the effects of menopause. All of their stories are true, and the addition of humour makes them more interesting.
In the first half there are two interesting musical numbers, including a very elaborate one when Alison talks about a noodle in a swimming pool as a best friend. Also, there is a musical number at the end of the first half when the moms do a mashup of various well-known songs, with the words of the songs changed to talk about their everyday lives.
During the intermission, Deborah sends text messages to her daughter, which she describes as poetry. Throughout the play, she goes off the stage and talks to the audience. I enjoyed Jill’s story because she explains the illness very well and shares how she has to talk about it with the rest of her family. It reminds me of the stories of the lead singers of various Canadian bands having serious illnesses, including Spirit of the West’s John Mann and The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie. Alison’s story has a lot of funny moments, and there is a notably one when you may want to cover your kid’s eyes.
The performance I saw was a Talkback Tuesday, during which the audience gets to ask the cast of the play questions. I asked them two questions: Because of the success of Kim’s Convenience, would you adapt the plays into a show or a film, and what is your favourite show on Netflix? Jill told me that while there were many attempts to turn the plays into a show, so far it has not worked, but they are still willing to do it. Also, the entire cast told me that they have different shows on Netflix that they like, and the streaming service is mentioned in the play.
Because the play is very successful, it has been extended by two weeks. If you would like to learn more about motherhood, bring your kids to see Mom’s the Word 3: Nest 1/2 Empty. The show is now playing at the Granville Island Stage until May 20.