By Kathy Flynn
Megan Ketch and Jackie Chung
Photo by Darrett Sanders
Anyone who has been through the changes motherhood brings will relate to Cry it Out, Echo Theater Company's dark-edged comedy about two new moms and the friendship that forms between them.
Photo by Darrett SandersJessie (Jackie Chung), the emotional center of this piece, is a former corporate lawyer whose entire worldview has changed with the arrival of her daughter. Lonely and desperate for companionship, she strikes up a friendship with her neighbor Lina (Megan Ketch), another new mom. Their naptime coffee meetups turn into a strong and relatable bond between two very different people. When a wealthy stranger drops by uninvited to ask if his wife can join them, all of their lives change in unexpected ways.
Cry It Out highlights the privilege that comes with both class and gender and the unbearably hard choices women often have to make. It's sweet and heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes all at the same. Both Chung and Ketch turn in pitch-perfect performances, as do the rest of the cast, but it's Ketch who shines the most as brassy Long Island housewife Lina, a fully-fleshed out performance that is hysterical and messy and utterly real.
Photo by Darrett SandersRounding out the cast is Brian Henderson as the wealthy neighbor, and Emily Swallow as his mercurial wife, both absolutely terrific in their roles. Swallow, who is also currently appearing in
Henry IV with Tom Hanks and Hamish Linklater, brings impressive depth and pathos to a character that could easily become one-note in lesser hands.
Cry It Out is the perfect moms night out. Grab your playgroup, Moms Club, or PTA friends and laugh and cry along to issues that you already know far too well.
Cry It Out was written by Molly Smith Metzler and directed by Lindsay Allbaugh, and plays at the Atwater Village Theatre through Aug 19.
The 4pm performance on July 22 has been designated "Child Care Sunday" - Echo Theater Company will provide free child care for parents attending that performance.