|Mother, wife and son/husband in Night Is A Room--photo does not convey the supposed age discrepancy; the acting does.|
Okay, I thought: either a) son murders mother or b) son and mother have sex. Both seemed plausible; I had no inkling of the playwright Naomi Wallace's background. Did her first-hand knowledge of affairs adoption enter into this drama? Or was it just a topic she read about somewhere?
I was planning to be in Manhattan and going to the theater with another first mother, Barbara Monckton Thavis, while she was in town on business. We added this to our list of must-sees immediately and she got the last two tickets for a matinee.
As I sat there waiting for the curtain to rise, and waiting for Barbara also--we had met over the internet--I couldn't help but wonder how many in the audience of around 200 would be other first mothers, adoptees, or adoptive parents. There had to be more who were personally involved than just the two of us. Given the prevalence of adoption today, certainly there were adoptive parents there--grandparents, more likely, judging by the age of most of the audience.
|GSA Genetic Sexual Attraction, The Bond of Siblings|
|Barbara and Lorraine in Manhattan|
Genetic sexual attraction is briefly explained--GSA, look it up, it's a real thing! says the son/husband--but with the 50-something woman acting like an old 70--it is hard to swallow this pair as lovers. The mother does some describing of what sex between the two of them means to her emotionally, and there, actually, the bonding does make a certain amount of sense to me, deeply steeped in all things adoption. The take-charge wife is gobsmacked as Act One ends. Does she go on with her life as before, keep her job in advertising, along with her sanity?
No. Despite the strong character she is in Act One, her center does not hold. Act Two begins with a coffin--the son has died, not the mother, but by an ugly twist of fate, the flat that was the mother's had been signed over to her son (with the assumption the mother would die first) and he left it to...his wife. Now these two have to find a way to resolution. It all comes to an overheated and implausible halt, for which I was grateful. It was interesting, the acting was actually spot-on, but the sexual tension between mother and son unconvincing and just plain weird. Before the curtain falls, several body fluids are either, real or imagined, will make their way into the hyper-heated drama.
My guess is that the Ms. Wallace, who has multiple credits and awards, did her research, and imagined the mother as the wretch who cleans houses and aged well beyond her years and then...well, I've given away the plot but this isn't a review for the audience who might be lining up for tickets. Rather, I'm writing an explanation of how GSA is handled in Night Is A Room. With different direction, and better casting, the play might have made sense, but this staging didn't get to anything remotely believable. Yet I'd give it kudos for dealing with one of the most taboo subjects anywhere.
Next night Barbara and I were off to Sam Shepherd's Fool for Love: steamy sexual passion...that ultimately leads to a story of brother and sister (half siblings) who can't live with each other, or without. Dad had two lives, and the sibs didn't know they were related when they met in high school and got it on. She's blonde and gorgeous and sexy; and he's tall and cool and the kind of poet cowboy who lassos girls with a smile and Howd'y. And for an added jolt for me and Barbara--in moseys another character and when asked where he's from, where his people are form, he answers: I don't really know--I'm adopted.
|On the way to Roosevelt Island|
Addendum: Barbara and I had a wonderful time getting to know each other--though she knew me pretty well from my writings. We went a friend's gallery show, checked out a hotel or two (she works for Hilton), had great meals, shopped a bit (we both bought boots), saw the 9/11 memorial and museum, took a side trip to Roosevelt Island on the tram, and rode in a pedicab.
Having the most important thing that ever happened to us as a bond was warm and comforting. Thank you, Barb.
thank you for ordering anything through the portals of FMF. Just click on the photo of the cover above or the book title or books those in the sidebar, moi says immodestly....
GSA Genetic Sexual Attraction, The Bond of Siblings: The theory behind sibling relationships (Who, How and Why Siblings Form Their Bond
"This is NOT erotica. This short article does not condone or condemn genetic sexual attraction. This is a serious look into the emotional and physical bond between siblings from a personal and non-professional view. You will not find any descriptive moments of passion or technical terms. What you will read is about how siblings feel, how they came into their relationships and how they survive their relationships."--Amazon description.