Max is an unemployed, single woman living in Brooklyn, who has just given birth to a daughter. Shortly after moving from Oregon to Brooklyn so her long-time partner, Lisa, can take a new job, the couple decide to have a child together. While Max is pregnant, Lisa has an affair with her new boss and moves out. Abandoned, Max is left trying to find her footing as a new mother.
Goldie is an Orthodox Jew and a lactation consultant who helps Max learn how to nurse. She's uncomfortable with Max's lifestyle and tries to keep her distance from her client. Her daughter Shayna's own secrets come to light and force Goldie to question her beliefs.
The play attempts to tackle a wide variety of issues, including single parenting, drug dealing, same-sex relationships, fidelity, betrayal, religious prejudice, unconventional family dynamics, sibling relationships, motherhood, unemployment, breast feeding and more. That's a lot for a two-hour production. Parring down the issues and choosing a few to focus in on would have heightened the show's impact.
The ensemble cast, which includes Sara Riemen, Wendy Farber, Angela Plank, Kienan McCartney and Bridgette Richards, feel familiar, as if these people could be our friends, family members or co-workers. Each one struggles with their own flaws, mistakes and difficult choices. Riemen is particularly good as Max and it's a delight to watch her mama bear instincts grow as she bonds with her daughter.
Life isn't simple and perhaps this show is an accurate reflection of that. The many complications may seem like a bit much, but the same thing is true for the issues in our own lives. Nothing is ever simple.
Don't Miss the Show
For more information about the Phoenix Theatre, visit www.phoenixtheatre.org. The theater is located at 749 N. Park Ave., Indianapolis, just off Massachusetts Ave.
Performances: The show runs until Feb. 27 and offers four performances a week. Thursdays begin at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturdays begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Tickets: To purchase tickets, call (317) 635-PLAY (7529). Prices range from $15 to $20.
Photos Courtesy of the Phoenix Theatre.