Tuesday, October 22, 2019
‘Cry It Out’ a Moving Yet Funny Look at the Gritty Realities of Motherhood
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New Moms, played by Michelle Carter and Ariel Puls, find that motherhood is a scary proposition.
 
Monday, September 16, 2019
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTO BY KIRSTIN SHULTZ

Dirty diapers. Coffee klatsch confessionals. Play dates for new Moms.

You’ll find it all in Molly Smith Metzler’s uplifting play “Cry It Out” about the realities and absurdities of motherhood in the 21st century.

 
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New Moms, played by Paula Rebelo and Ariel Puls, can’t quite get on board with Michelle Carter’s enthusiasm.
 

Company of Fools will stage the funny, yet thought provoking, play Sept. 25 through Oct. 12 at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey.

To make sure those who need to see it the most can attend, the Fools are offering their first-ever Parent & Baby Night. Parents and their small children will be invited to attend a special performance of “Cry It Out” on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at a special time of 6 p.m.

House lights will be on so parents can keep their eye on their little ones. Baby changing stations will be available in the restrooms, and space will be set aside in the lobby to placate little angels-turned monsters.

“But this play is not just about parenthood. It’s about community and friendship, how people from different backgrounds can come together,” said Denise Simone, founding Fool and director of the play. “It’s such great writing it will be entertaining for everyone, even those who aren’t parents.”

Paula Rebelo, who plays Lina, agreed: “It’s a funny play, an honest play, a raw play.”

The play looks at parenthood through the eyes of four characters.

Jessie, a Columbia-trained lawyer, is feeling cooped up after a few weeks with baby and wanting to return to her prestigious Manhattan firm where she has a high-powered career as in acquisitions. But she’s not sure how others will react if she does.

Eager for adult conversation during the lonely sojourn of maternal leave, she invites her funny and forthright neighbor Lina for coffee.

Lina is the opposite of Jessie—a single mom in a low-level job. And she wants nothing more than to stay home with her child but she’s being forced to return after just a couple weeks maternity leave.

The two become fast friends, bonding over their new mom experience. And they arouse the interest of a wealthy neighbor who yearns for a similar connection.

Founding Fools member Joel Vilinsky plays Mitch, who is so excited about fatherhood that he is bent on setting up a play date with the other new moms for his wife. While Mitch would be happy being a stay-at-home father, his wife Adrienne, played by Paula Rebelo, seems lukewarm about the task--but with good reason.

The play tackles such subjects as whether one should return to work or stay at home. It’s about the choices we have and the choices we don’t have.

“We have a flawed paid leave of absence,” said Simone. “Eighty-three percent of U.S. workers don’t get  paid leave. One in four moms are required to return to work within two weeks of giving birth.”

The play was inspired by the playwright’s personal experience of becoming a new mother when her family was struggling financially. She took her title from a reference to the eternal question of whether mothers and fathers should let their infants cry themselves to sleep or hold them until they drift off to lullaby land.

“We didn’t know that when you have a baby you’re basically on house arrest,” said Metzler. “When we moved to the suburbs, we couldn’t afford a second car, so I was trapped at home in wintery deep freeze with a baby…And I was dying of loneliness.”

What made the difference for Metzler was forging a friendship with another mom who lived nearby.

“We had very little in common,” she said. “But she saved my life. The experience of having a baby cracks you open—your career, your marriage your identity…and I couldn’t believe how alone I was with these questions.”

Paula Rebelo, who plays Adrienne, said she can relate to the play, as well, having had a baby three years ago.

“I was isolated in my home with a new baby—no relatives around to help. My husband had gone back to work, and I was left wondering why people didn’t think twice about him going back to work but that my reentry into the working world might not be looked on as kindly. My mom squad, as I called them, helped me power through depression and anxiety.”

A lot of times we think a child will step into the lives we already have, noted Simone.

“And when they do come along, they don’t fit our lives the way we thought they would.”

Scott Palmer, the Fools’ artistic director, said the play dovetailed with Company of Fools’ efforts to focus this season on family—the family we choose, the family we’re born into, the family we make and, in the case of “Cry It Out,” the family that we find.

Palmer said it’s the Fools’ hope that Parent & Baby Night will provide an opportunity for parents to meet, connect and socialize with other parents outside the house.

“Parents are usually discouraged from bringing their little ones to the theatre for fear that the babies will disrupt other patrons, have a meltdown or otherwise distract from the show. These are reasonable concerns, but it doesn’t mean that new parents shouldn’t have the chance to see theatre,” he said.

Parent & Baby Night is open to the general public, as well.

“But, of course, dads should be here, too--kids are a two-way street,” added Carter.

The play runs 1 hour and 35 minutes without an intermission.

IF YOU GO

Cry it Out

When: Sept. 24-Oct. 12. 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, Sept. 25-26; 6:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27; 7;30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, and Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 2-5; 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 9-12.

Tickets: $35 for members of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts; $40 for nonmembers; $35 for seniors 62 and over, and $15 for students. Also, $35 for members of a group of eight or more.

Buy tickets at www.sunvalleycenter.org, by phone at 208-578-9122 or at the Liberty Theatre box office.

Special Deals:

Parent & Baby Night “Pay What You Feel” Preview is Tuesday, Sept. 24. “Pay What You Feel” Preview is Wednesday, Sept. 25. Throwback Thursday Preview, with $24 tickets is Thursday, Sept. 26. Educator Night & Date Night with two $15 tickets for each educator is Saturday, Sept. 28.

Ten front-row seats are available for $10 at each performance.

A Backstage Tour and Post-Show Chat Back will be offered following the Sunday, Oct. 6, matinee.


 

 

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