Tales of Modern Motherhood (Part 2) Review – The Challenge of Gender and Identity

Pam Levin in TALES OF MODERN MOTHERHOOD (PART 2) - Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

No one ever said that being a mother was easy, and Pam Levin’s momhood is definitely not the exception. What to do when your little Goldilocks Girl of five decides that she wants to be a boy? She enjoys playing with the neighborhood lads, prefers boys’ togs and games, wants a Mohawk haircut, and finally – at the ripe old age of eight – comes out of the closet and decides that she really wants to be male. Maybe even with a few surgical alterations up the road.

Pam Levin – Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

Pam manages to take these complex and intense issues and handle them with a light feather touch rather than a slamming sledge hammer. With gentle humor and quiet understanding, she not only listens to her daughter Darby – but also hears what she is saying. In this very personal, authentic, and downright funny tale, Pam navigates the sea of motherhood – filled with eddies, intermittent rapids, and the occasional hidden rock – with humor and sensitivity. She maintains a maternal warmth that is both endearing and reflective of an internal strength when faced with the unexpected.

Pam Levin – Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

Pam’s bubbly presentation might belie the underlying seriousness of these decisions on Darby and her family. In lesser hands, the underlying theme of the tale might overwhelm the viewer – but Pam Levin has a firm grasp on her material. The set is simple, depending on a few props, projections, and lighting. The sense of intimacy is maintained throughout.

Pam Levin – Photo by Cooper Bates

TALES OF MODERN MOTHERHOOD (PART 2) is currently a streamed presentation which was initially presented as part of the Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest at the beginning of the year. The “Best of the Fest” lends itself brilliantly to the streamed platform: an intimate portrayal in the intimate setting of the audience member’s living room. What better way to engage in a personal “conversation” with interested strangers? On several levels, this solo play effectively addresses today’s audiences, who are currently restricted to relatively narrow COVID boundaries on their lives – especially with live theater shut down across the U.S. TALES OF MODERN MOTHERHOOD (PART 2) is both entertaining and thought-provoking. It is a play that will make you chuckle – but also will make you think about ways to deal with the unanticipated when raising children. At the same time, given its central theme, this solo performance should appeal to a far greater audience than parents alone.

TALES OF MODERN MOTHERHOOD (PART 2) can be streamed from the Whitefire Theatre’s library. Tickets are $15.99 with a service charge of $2.60. For tickets and information, call the Whitefire Theatre at 818-687-8559 or go online.

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