The digital magazine of New York indie theater
You Mutha! A One-Mother Show
nytheatre.com review by Geeta Citygirl
Jennie Fahn’s You Mutha! is a bubbly and spirited experience for all
adults—we can all relate to either being a mother, wanting to be a mother
and/or, as all of us must admit, having a mother,. Fahn is a petite 4’10”
powerhouse talent who rocks the living room atmosphere with this homage to moms
in this fantastic one-mother show.The day I attended her performance, it was an oppressively hot and humid New
York City Saturday (with temperatures so high the city felt like a steam room).
I arrived too early so waited patiently outside with a New Jersey couple.
Jonathan, Jennie’s high school classmate and now a father, was attending the
show with his wife, Michelle. We moved from outside to sitting on the steps
leading up to the theatre. Suddenly a group of women entered speaking loud and
excited to be seeing Jennie—they reminded me of Long Island maternal figures.
Moments later, as if we were at a large reunion of sorts, we were all talking to
each other. I enjoyed listening and watching as pieces of the puzzle were
getting solved. When asked his name, Jonathan was immediately recognized when
one mother hollered up the stairs that she was on the phone with his mother last
night! One by one I heard stories of the various connections—and it was mostly
the mothers who were recalling people and places and incidents. Then the house
door opened. And we all (now friends) entered as a family.We were welcomed with a great marketing tool and an even more useful gift in
these hot temperatures—each of us got a turquoise heart-shaped paper fan with a
wooden handle, designed with the show information. As we fanned ourselves, the
show began. With a list of changing quotes projected on the back wall, dance,
songs (the You Mutha! jingle will stay with you days after you leave the
show), and a Jennie Fahn puppet, this is a piece of pure delight.Fahn takes us on a journey of mothers everywhere—including a glimpse at her
mother! We get to think about why Bambi and Nemo both lose their mothers. She
asks us to think about why it is always the MOTHERS (often in children’s
stories) that get killed off. Then proceeds to expose us to a “Mommy and Me”
mother, a Los Angeles mother, and my favorite part of the entire show, a mother
who illustrates how her Day Runner gets filled with activities and commitments.
This demonstration will show you the incredible energy of both mothers and Fahn.
Special mention to Coco for the wonderful puppet design—that alone with get you
giggling. Larry Sousa’s smart direction and use of minimal props and set really
help to highlight Fahn's strong presence. Kudos to Daryl Archibald and
Christopher Lavely, the talents whose music helps the 60-minute show move
effortlessly.On a personal note, the show really made me think about what it would be like
to be a mother. I thought of my mother—Asha—whose name in Hindi translates to
“hope.” And I couldn’t help but remember it really is the mothers that are the
hope of this world. We realize that (as some say) “every day really should be
August 15, 2005