It’s been two days since Listen to Your Mother hit the NYC stage. After weeks and weeks of working on the show’s logistics, from finding a non-profit to support… to helping to cast the show to finding rehearsal space… to securing sponsorships… to scouting a location for the cast party, I put my heart and soul into bringing this show to life. I enjoyed every waking minute of it and nourished the experience. Words can not even express how grateful I was to be a part of it. I kept thinking that the chance of ever working on a NYC stage production again in my lifetime was slim, so I’d better make the most of it. And I did.
When the big day arrived, I jumped out of bed and ran to the train, with a flower arrangement, bouquet of flowers and sponsorship materials in hand. My train got indefinitely delayed well before our arrival in the city, and I called upon my husband to come sweep me up and drive me into the city, knowing very well that he’d have to turn right back around to get my mom and come back. He didn’t put up a fight and I called him my hero all the way to the theater. Nothing would prevent me from making my “stage debut”.
And it was glorious. The cast shone like a star. We had only rehearsed twice together as a group prior to that moment and had never rehearsed on that exact stage, but every cast member nailed it. Each performance had an impact on everyone watching, just as we expected. I stood on the sideline and watched the audience reactions – they laughed, they cried, they sat in awe of their loved ones and of ones they didn’t know. It all just WORKED so magically and I beamed throughout, thinking about the power of storytelling. This summer each woman’s story will all be broadcast on You Tube and they will be seen and heard by women around the world.
There are so many other reasons I’m proud of this show. I’m proud of the money from ticket sales that we donated to Room to Grow, our chosen non-profit; I’m proud that we filled the house at the JCC (we actually sold out within weeks and had people emailing us until the day of the show for tickets); I am proud of the fearless emcee Rene Syler who was the perfect fit for our show and knew exactly what to say between each piece; I am proud of the difficult stories that many cast members told, particularly the brave Cynthia Bastidas and Kate Mayer, who brought audience members to tears; I am proud of the profound impact that Eve Lederman’s story is having on so many women with her follow-up features in the NYT Motherlode story and mention in a story on Jezebel; I am of proud the cast for creating a room full of laughter and telling stories that we can all relate to; I am proud to have worked with Alysia Reiner, Abby Sher, Deborah Goldstein, Estelle Sobel Erasmus, Howard Margulies, Jonny Schremmer, Kathy Curto, Patty Chang Anker and Una La Marche – all skilled writers and amazing women who I shall follow for life; I am proud to have seen my good friend, Ilana Wiles, make her stage debut and do it so skillfully (and without peeing in her pants); I am proud to have been blessed with the friendship of Kirsten Piccini, who is as beautiful inside as she is out; I am proud to have worked along side three fantastic friends and mentors, Amy Wilson, Betsy Cadel and Varda Steinhardt. And I can’t thank Ann Imig and Deb Rox for showing me that anything is possible.
So, would I do it again? If given the chance, yes. But if that doesn’t happen, I have this. All this. And so much more.