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Published on April 28th, 2012 | by RLn Staff

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From Mother to Daughter

By John Farrell

Night Mother is the moving story of two people, an aging mother and her epileptic daughter, locked in the final night of their relationship. It’s been told before, notably in a film, but you will hardly see a better version than at Little Fish Theatre the nest two weeks: moving, articulate and with two actresses who bring to their performances an intensity, an honesty, you won’t forget for a long time.

Amanda Karr is Jessie, the matter-of-fact daughter who has made a list of everything her mother needs, from shopping information to candy, because she is going to commit suicide that evening. Mary-Margaret Lewis is Thelma, the mother who has long dealt with Jessie’s problems, including epilepsy, a son who has pretty much much taken up a criminal career and a life that isn’t going anywhere.

Karr’s Jessie has already made up her mind that life has no more to offer her, and her intensity palpable from the very first: you know she is planning something, and as she rev eals it to her mother, and she talks about how all she wants in quite, she stares through the audience (whi is very close up at Little Fish.) The intimacy makes the play, and Karr’s startlingly real performance, that much more effective.

Lewis plays Thelma with the kind of pathos, the kind of desperation, you’d expect in someone who faces the imminent suicide of a loved one. She tries everything to dissuade Jessie: humor, threats, pleading, all the armaments of a distraught mother facing an impossible situation.

Together the two make a deeply nuanced picture of love, os desperation.

Tickets are $25, $23 for students and seniors. Performances Wednesday, May 2 at 8 p.m., Thursday, May 3 at 8 p.m., Wednesday, May 9 at 8 p.m. and Thursday, May 10 at 8 p.m.

Details: (310) 512-6030, www.littlefishtheatre.org
Venue: Little Fish Theatre
Location: 777 Centre St., San Pedro

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