My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding Was Great… (Review of Mirvish production)

by Megan Mooney

Photo of Rosemary Doyle and Lisa Horner by Lindsay Anne Black

There was all kinds of food, and after the food, there was cake…

Oh.  Wait.  I figured since a line in the a song in the show captured my feelings enough that I could use it as the title, then maybe I could use the next line as my review.  But no, that second bit doesn’t really belong here.  There was no food, and no cake.  But the Mirvish production of My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding certainly was great.

Not a surprise given the great review Mooney on Theatre gave the Fringe version put on by David Hein and company.

Sometimes it’s really nice to see something that is fun and has a happy ending.  Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy the angst-ridden ‘difficult’ plays, but I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to laugh, cry and get songs stuck in my head.  I’ve been humming “you don’t need a penis…” ever since I went to the show.

At it’s core, My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding is a heart-warming love story, told with the help of many catchy tunes.  It’s funny, smart, and has it’s share of tearful moments.  I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it for a night of feel-good fun.

My show partner for this one, Liana, came from the “Mooney on Theatre Free Theatre” group on Facebook (this is the bit where I’m trying to subtly convince you to go join that group) where Mooney on Theatre writers announce when they have an extra free ticket to a show in exchange for a very brief (three questions in fact) interview afterwards.

Liana also enjoyed the show, and made a point of saying to me that she was impressed with the audience.  She noted that it was pretty diverse in terms of age and sexuality, so the show wasn’t “preaching to the choir”.    She also really liked that the kisses between the women didn’t feel awkward, or somehow a big deal, they were just there.  Just two characters kissing.

We both agreed the show was really well done.  There was a nice minimalist approach to things.  There was no set to speak of.  Just furniture pieces that were pulled on and off, and a live band accompanying the actors.  No fancy light show, just good clean lighting that let us see what was happening on stage easily.  I also really liked that there was dialogue, not a whole story being told through song.  More along the lines of Cabaret than Les Misérables.

I’ve already said that at the core this is a love story, and I’d certainly call it a comedy and not at all a piece of activism or attempt to teach people something, but I really did enjoy the lovely history-lesson-in-a-song on gay rights.  Even though it was all stuff I knew, I loved having it summed up in a catchy tune.  And believe me, these tunes are catchy.

The cast was filled with strong singers and actors, there wasn’t a single person that I didn’t enjoy.  I really loved Rosemary Doyle as Jane and Lisa Horner as Clair, and was really impressed with Kyle Orzech as the young David.  But honestly, everyone on that stage was oozing talent.

When asked what she liked least, Liana said “the red shoes… they were distracting”.  If the biggest issue with a show is a pair of shoes, you pretty much can’t go wrong.

The show has been extended twice, and is now playing until January 3rd, but it’s the last possible extension because the theatre needs to be cleared out for Cloud 9, opening on January 19th.  So, the sooner you get your tickets the better.  Seriously, go to this, you’ll leave smiling.  Smiling is good.

My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding is playing at the Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street) until January 3, 2009
– Shows run Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm, with 2pm matinees on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays
– Ticket prices range from $25 – $60
– Tickets available through TicketKing at: 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333, or online through the Mirvish website

Photo of Rosemary Doyle and Lisa Horner by Lindsay Anne Black