Professional Theatre For Maine


Out and About: Music festival and romantic comedy top picks

Posted on 10/25/2018 12:18am by Jennifer Madigan

Out and About: Music festival and romantic comedy top picks


The Forecaster | October 24, 2018


There’s no excuse for staying home this weekend, as a number of excellent choices are offered for aficionados of music and theater.

In the theater department, “Things My Mother Taught Me” is a wonderfully offbeat romantic comedy that runs through this weekend in Lewiston. It’s the first offering of the 2018-2019 season at The Public Theatre of Lewiston-Auburn.

I’ve been an admirer of Chris Schario’s artistic directorship – shared with wife Janet Mitchko – at the Public Theatre of Lewiston-Auburn since the 1993-1994 season, when the pair first appeared on the Maine theatrical scene. In particular, I love the many offbeat romantic comedies that seem to define their legacy.

They’ve picked another great one to kick start the 2018-2019 season: Katherine DiSaviano’s “Things My Mother Taught Me,” which opened this past weekend and runs through Sunday.

Here’s the setup. Gabe and girlfriend Olivia are moving into a new apartment and Gabe plans to propose marriage as soon as they are settled. But the situation gets extremely unsettled, thanks to several happenings. Foremost among these is the unexpected arrival of Gabe’s parents. And then Olivia’s.

The two mothers are hyperactive domineering types, while both husbands play second fiddle to their wives.

Comic chaos ensues from this multi-compounded triangular relationship. But like most romantic comedies, the forces that bind us together prove far stronger than the forces that drive us apart.

Director Mitchko has assembled a brilliant, fully professional cast of seven, with Kelsey J. Nash and Caroline Portu playing the romantic pair, while MarTina Vidmar and Donnah Welby take the roles of the two overbearing women and Bill Van Horn and Mark S. Cartier play their subservient husbands. Glenn Anderson has some fine moments as the apartment building’s Polish immigrant manager.