By Leanne Milech
My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding or MMLJWW for short, is, to put it bluntly, colossal Canadian yummyness.
After an amazing run at the 2009 Fringe Festival, Mooney on Theatre writer Sam Mooney raved about MMLJWW in her review of the show. After Fringe, Mirvish swiftly picked MMLJWW up and extended its run as long as it possibly could before it had to make room for a previously scheduled production. During that run, our very own editor, Megan Mooney, reviewed the show, professing her love for the production just as earnestly as our first reviewer did.
Indeed, Mirvish chose wisely when it decided to pick up this touching true love story of Claire, played by Lisa Horner, and Jane, played by Rosemary Doyle, two middle-aged women who fall for each other.
As a lesbian and a Jew, I had actually been a tad skeptical about this show: could they really pull off the whole lesbian thing without making all of the usual stereotypes and without being cliché or boringly political?
Not only did they pull it off, but they poked tongue-in-cheek fun at all of the usual stereotypes (like the lesbian love for cats) to the point where I was laughing loudly.
And one of the best things about the show is that, rather than shy away from the politics surrounding gay marriage, MMLJWW outlines the political history of legalizing gay marriage for the audience in an entertaining way. I loved being educated about this piece of Canadian history, and I felt truly proud to be Canadian by the end of the show.
Perhaps one of the reasons MMLJWW is so moving is because it tells the tale of a real-life love story. Writer, songwriter and musical director, David Hein (who plays himself in the show) is Claire’s son. After divorcing her husband, David’s father, Claire moves to Ottawa, meets Jane and falls in love. A classic tale of girl meets girl.
Young David is totally cool with his mom’s new girlfriend (later, her wife), and the mother-son relationship is so sweetly portrayed that I wanted to get up and hug this open-minded little boy for supporting his mom. And later, for paying tribute to her by writing this musical!
At the end of the show, the audience gets to see the actual photos that were taken with David’s real moms at their wedding, which adds extra emotional impact to the whole performance, reminding the audience, that yes, this is a true story, and yes, all’s well that ends well.
But, at the end of the day, MMLJWW is more than a politically-charged, hilarious romp about two lesbians and their son, David; it’s a love story about finding yourself.
Once the curtains had closed, my girlfriend and play partner for the night, Alicia, emphatically proclaimed, “That was the best musical I’ve ever seen!” I have to agree.
– My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding is playing until March 21st at the Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street)
– Showtimes are Tuesday-Friday 8 pm, Saturday 5 pm and 9 pm and Sunday at 7 pm
– Tickets range from $25 to $60
– Tickets are available by calling 416-872-1212, online at Ticketking or by visiting the Panasonic Theatre box office
Photo of Rosemary Doyle and Lisa Horner by Lindsay Anne Black