According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Mother Load is an autobiographical, 80-minute discourse/stand-up comedy routine on the roller coaster ride that is child-rearing. Although the show is not devoid of insight or humor, it relies too heavily on voice-overs for thematic twists and lacks consistent showmanship.


Reviewed by Cindy Pierre

In Mother Load, Amy Wilson is pregnant again, and sharing her wisdom or lack thereof on motherhood from firsthand experience. As she bares her swollen belly on stage in anticipation of her third child, she invites the audience into her ever-lactating, ever-debating world. The setting by Lauren Helpern, at first impression a daycare but actually a living room in disarray, is teeming with toys and baby paraphernalia that Wilson uses as heartfelt props (see her "babies" in photo). As she folds the laundry, we sense that the miniature clothing belongs to her own young boys Connor and Seamus.

The voice-overs by sound designer Joe Miuccio, part mommy service announcement and part instruction, fluctuate from soothing to cautionary to scary. Initially, they are an effective tool to convey Wilson's angst, confusion and doubt about her maternal prowess. However, excessive use of this technology deviates from Wilson's opportunity to emote and connect with her material.

As Wilson shares her trepidation of the painstaking, albeit rewarding process of raising a baby, we are privy to a cathartic experience for the performer. Her therapeutic journey takes precedence over the entertainment, as demonstrated by her earnest, but only partially-formed character sketches. The characters are a critical part of her story, particularly since "when you have a baby in your belly, your body is everyone's business", but there isn't a strong effort on Wilson's part to breathe life into them.

The lighting design by Graham Kindred, much like the sound design by Miuccio, concurrently add and subtract from Wilson's sentiments. Kindred makes eclectic choices that exaggerate the drama, but his heavy hand also puts the spotlight on the technology instead of Wilson.

Mother Load caters to nostalgic moms or mother hopefuls, but there is enough heart here to strike a chord with a larger demographic. Wilson's isolation, loneliness, joy and devotion are as blatant as this piece is to her own personal growth and reflection.


Through June 16th. $45. Sage Theater 711 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY. 212-279-4200 No intermission.

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