Reviewer: Howard Steven Frydman
aka “The Howard”
Production: Cry It Out
Theater: The Hartford Stage
Playwright: Molly Smith Metzler
Director: Rachel Alderman
The Howard’s Exhale – “Friendship- Its the perfect blendship!
The Divine Miss M – Bette Midler once exclaimed – “You got to have friends the feeling’s oh so strong – You got to have friends to make the day last long”. Folks – I have just returned from a heartwarming production of “Cry It Out” at Hartford Stage, though the play may center around the “secret world” of motherhood, parenting, child birth, sharing those “thoughts of babes in arms” only a fellow parent can relate too – Playwright Molly Smith Metzler has brought forth something akin greater- two friends – two indelible characters that I wish were my friends, my neighbors, my confidants. “Cry It Out” is divinely directed by Rachel Aldeman, and stars two woman I would so enjoy seeing in a weekly comedy series – Evelyn Spahr and Rachel Spencer Hewitt- they are funny, they are fierce, they are woman – hear them roar!
Let’s chat about playwright Molly Smith Metzler for a moment – in real estate it’s location location location – in theater it’s truly all about the 3d’s – dialogue dialogue dialogue ( I will get to our actors in a bit) – and Ms. Metzler had this audience member literally leaning forward in my seat in an effort not to miss one single syllable of her delectable “grown up” dialogue. Her words were – funny, frantic, factual, ferocious- if her words were potato chips – you simply could not just eat one – you would want the entire bag – yes indeed – the play’s the thing – and Ms. Metzler you are our contemporary bard – more plays please!
“Cry It Out” – the location- Port Washington, New York, “the” oh so affluent hamlet on the North Shore of Long Island. It’s where lower crust meets middle crust and where upper crust uses binoculars to watch the doings of the L.C.’s and M.C.’s. Meet Lina, (Evelyn Spahr) and Jessie (Rachel Spencer Hewitt) both at home moms who lament going back to their respective jobs, Linas a triage nurse, Jessie an Attorney. Meeting each day in their adjoining backyards for their daily playtime “Koffee Klutch” discussions – they seriously sermonize on what “motherhood” has done to them – from wearing fake stretch-able jeans, their “me time” at the local Stop and Shop and their noticeable isolation from the “adult world” of their peers . Watching from afar, yes with binoculars is the affluent Mitchell (Erin Gann) who beseeches the duo to let his wife, Adrienne, a jewelry designer, (Caroline Kinsolving) join their daily get togethers in an effort to make her more of a caring mom – hmmm- what’s this – “The Stepford Wives”?
As stated – I throughly enjoyed the duo of Lina and Jessie- they so reminded me of other fan favorites such as: “Laverne and Shirley”, “Mary Richards and Rhoda” and of course “Lucy and Ethel”. Folks, though the production is only 90 minutes long – the characters are so real and alive – one brash, one tame – you truly wish these two were your friends and confidants as well. Additionally, though the characters go their separate ways at plays conclusion, we so hope playwright Molly Smith Metzler, can summon upon these two characters again in a “what happens next”- I would even appreciate a Television series with these same two women, Evelyn Spahr and Rachel Spencer Hewett as the leads in a speculative “When Lina Met Jessie” series. As you can imagine both Ms. Spahr and Ms. Hewitt receive the coveted “Howard Noticed YOU Award” – they are both “TERRIFIC” in their respective roles. Enjoy.
Tickets for the Hartford Stage production of “Cry It Out” are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (860) 527-5151 or by visiting http://www.hartfordstage.org. Weeknight and evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances are Saturdays, Sundays and select weekdays at 2 p.m.
Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com.