My mom's birthday was last week. She's always so hard to shop for - I imagine that's where I get it from. So, I decided to take her to dinner and then to see a Broadway show.
I love my mom. I really do. But in my whole life..there has never been anyone that can push my buttons like she can. I guess maybe we're so much alike..and yet so very different - which is a perfect recipe for a somewhat strained relationship.
In ANY event.
I took her to see "Other Desert Cities", which received rave reviews (and I was able to get center, second row, orchestra seats!). In case you didn't know, the blurb on the play is as follows:
In OTHER DESERT CITIES, Brooke Wyeth (Elizabeth Marvel) returns home to Palm Springs to visit her parents (Stockard Channing and Stacy Keach) after a six-year absence. A once-promising novelist, she announces to her family the imminent publication of a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family's history - a wound that her parents don't want reopened.
Brooke has come home to draw a line in the sand and is daring her family to cross it. Her brother (Justin Kirk) won't play her game; her aunt (Judith Light) knows way too much, and her parents fall into all their old routines as they plead with her to keep their story quiet. In this family, secrets are currency and everyone is rich.
In simplest terms, the play is about a girl who comes home to the desert with a story about where she is from, who her people really are, what she thinks they really are. Her parents represent an Establishment that she feels has betrayed this country. She goes to war with them, and blood is spilled.
Let me say this..the play is phenomenal. It's so captivating that you almost feel like you're a silent family member watching it all take place.
Stockard Channing is AMAZING. She's so amazing as the iron-fisted mother that would do anything to protect her family and keep their family secret buried.......you even spend a part of the play completely relating to her daughter and hating her.
During intermission my mom looked over at me and asked me what I thought. I told her that I felt like..if you kept secrets from those you love (and those who love you), they'll never truly know you or understand you. her response was simple. "Sometimes, you do things that you have to take to the grave with you." Some secrets are meant to be kept, I guess. I imagine my mom's got some of her own, and there will be things about her and her life that I will never know.
A part of that makes me sad. Like I'll truly never know her or her story.
But another part of me understands that everyone is entitled to keep a part of themselves private - unjudged and safe.
I don't want to spoil it for anyone (obviously the deep, dark secret is revealed), but I will say this..
Sometimes secrets can tear people apart. And other times......secrets are all that can help hold you together.
If you're in NYC, I highly recommend this play. The writing and acting are both so outstanding that there are no words to do it justice.
Happy Sunday, kids.