I want to take everyone back to the beginning of January this year. There I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a new musical production titled “Moms: the musical” which instantly pricked my attention. Since then I have reviewed the soundtrack to the show (available at https://rhysreviews.com/2021/01/18/moms-the-musical-soundtrack-review/) and off the back of that, we were able to organise an interview (available at https://youtu.be/pSTBtka6b4I) with the cast and crew to find out more about the show! I have only been a small part of the journey of this show for a small time, just under four months, but I have seen it already grow from an idea to a fully released production. The most exciting thing is that I don’t believe this is the end of this show’s journey. Due to the limitations caused by the current global situation, the show has had to have been altered and I can’t wait to see the final image with that being a live staged production!
The cast and team of this project have created an online streamed production of the show which has been distributed via Broadway On Demand. The tickets cost just $5 (or £3.50) which goes towards funding the show for future productions. Just over £3.50 is an affordable price and is even better considering that it’s not just a teaser of the show but a fully developed two-hour production that contains two acts and an intermission. Usually, it is slightly frustrating when these online productions are created as they are filmed at the performer’s homes however, this worked in Moms favour! The show is all about a group of moms who form an unlikely friendship but reflections the true meaning of motherhood. Rather than being a fantasy depiction, this show represents an honest and real view of modern-day motherhood and having it set in real homes makes it that much more relatable and accessible for the audience. This is an even more perfect pairing as lots of the show is provided by an online mommy and my group so the fact that the mothers would not be in the same physical location so was great!
This online production was narrated by one of the mothers called Renada who is the classic noisy neighbour of the story. We all know someone in our streets who loves to look out through their Venetian blinds to see what’s going on with everyone on the street. This makes for a very effective narrator as they need to introduce the next scene/song and explain the story to the audience so including this character was an incredibly clever choice as not only is it a recognisable character but also fulfils their purpose. I believe that this was done for the online concert but hope that this is altered for live production. Despite how much I loved this character, I do think that this would cause the show to be quite fragmented when watching the show live. All the songs in this show had an almost title screen which contained the name of the song after being introduced by Renada. This gave the songs an almost music video type feel which again fitted with the concert genre of the show. The opening number “Miracle of Life” was the perfect opener as it was separate from the overall narrative of the show but introduced the key idea of motherhood to the audience. It also works well as the pregnancy chronologically appears at the beginning of everyone’s life and so for this to appear at the start of the show was very clever! The show discusses the wonder of motherhood and contrasts it with the actual realities/struggle moms face. The chorus of moms start with a sense of excitement and awe but once the baby has been delivered they experience the harsh realities. The moms all appear on the screen in virtual boxes so that the viewers can still get the sense of the chorus all singing together.
I have talked in previous reviews about how difficult I think it must be to not just perform in a social distance location which is only exaggerated when the number is a diet. The song “a wonder to be a mother” was amazing with the two performers voices working flawlessly together and facial reactions that wouldn’t seem out of place even if they were stood next to each other. People able to pretend you are reacting live must be insanely difficult and shows a very high level of musical talent! In my review of moms soundtrack, I talked about my love for the song “The huntress” which explores a mother essentially having a breakdown after losing her job. The concert portrayal portrayed this well and deepened my love of this song even more. “In my day” was one of the only songs that had an obvious costume (which I liked the no casual clothes in the rest of the songs as it added to relatability) where one character wore bright red glasses and a Pearl necklace to show a difference in generation. My only qualm with this song was that the focus should be on the performer and while the images were very evocative, the performer was in the top left corner which meant the focus was not on her. We could have had the singer in the centre with all the images around her to balance this put appropriately. “MIL” (or mother in law) was a very comedic song that contained a modern reference to the controversial situation involving Megan Markle and the queen.
This is not a show for a young audience as it contains strong language, depictions of alcohol usage and generally discusses themes that young people would not relate to. It is perfect for your next socially distanced girls night (of a certain age) as there are numerous hilarious scenes. The show contains a mostly female cast with two men who appear briefly towards the end of the cast but apart from that, it is female dominated. I would rate this online production 4.5 stars out of 5! If you want to give it a watch for yourself go to Broadway On Demand and search for Moms the musical … you won’t be disappointed!