Momologues 3: It’s as bad as they say. (Parenting, not the play.)

Momologues 3: The Final Push
Lamb Arts Regional Theatre
Sioux City, IA
Saturday, March 14, 2020
Future Performances: Sunday & Monday, March 15 & 16

Lamb Arts Regional Theatre’s Momologues 3: The Final Push has been on my radar for a while now.  Despite some rearranging of the schedule due to broken ankles and COVID-19, I’m glad Lamb was able to present at least a shortened run of this continuation of the Momologue series.  The second weekend has been cut due to health concerns, but you can still see it Sunday and Monday.  Though I’m not a mom and I don’t have teenagers (yet), as a stay-at-home father there’s plenty here to laugh at and commiserate with. 

First off, you may want to know this isn’t theatre as you might be familiar with it.  Momologues is reader’s theatre, which means that it could be performed minimally with actresses dressed in black and standing behind music stands reading from scripts.  But even amidst the scheduling and rescheduling concerns, director Diana Wooley and her four actresses (Lacey Friis, Kristi Christiansen, Melissa Stoltz-Gulbronson, and Onnastasia Behan) manage to turn readers’ theatre into something much more engaging.  The characters, who occasionally do rely on the script, address each other, as well as the audience.  And for added verisimilitude, when they’re not speaking they can be seen flipping through glossy magazines or scrolling through apps on their phones. 

This production of Momologues is set in a coffee shop, though anyone familiar with #MomLife (or, ahem, #DadLife for that matter), might easily imagine it in the lobby of a gymnastics academy or the bleachers of a baseball game.  Maybe the specifics of life with a teenager don’t yet apply to you, but the tenor and terror of the conversations might.  So too may the impulse, in unmixed company, to drop the oft-suppressed F-bomb while talking about fermenting laundry, failed teenage relationships, and the peril of the college application process. 

There’s not much plot, per se, and the trajectory of the “reading”—though it amounts to far more than a reading—balances between the unmitigated airing of grievances and the recognition of what’s lost and what’s yet to come.  From my perspective, the (hilarious) righteous indignation is just as accurate and reveals just as much love and affection for the children as the lyric lamentation of times gone by. 

So before the next—and last—two show times go by, stop by Lamb and catch Momologues.  It’s not just for moms.  In fact, there may be dads out there who could earn their way out of the dog house by buying a couple of tickets for themselves and their wives.  As for the attitudes they’re catching from the kids, we all know there’s no hope for that. 

Brendan Todt is not a mom. He stays home with his two sons, one of whom bit him this morning.