Artistic director of the Transport Group Jack Cummings III has another triumph on his hands with his ingenious production of John Van Druten's 1944 memory play I REMEMBER MAMA.
Ten older actresses in their street clothes essay all the roles, male and female, young and old, on a set comprised of ten wooden dining room suites. The audience sits all around the action which takes place in the centre of the auditorium under a series of overhead lamps. Each dining table contains a collection of one particular item: books, photographs, letters, boxes, cutlery, tea sets, etc. and the women begin the play with one actress seated at each table.
Barbara Andres plays Norwegian immigrant Mama Hanson raising her four children in San Francisco in the 1910s. Barbara Barrie plays eldest daughter Katrin who dreams of becoming a writer.
The other veteran actresses in the cast...Rita Gardner, Heather MacRae, Dale Soules, Louise Sorel, Phyllis Somerville, Alice Cannon, Lynn Cohen and Susan Lehman...all contribute vivid cameos.
The last moments of the production, when Katrin reads her first published story to her family, were profoundly moving. A man sitting near us unashamedly burst out in loud wracking sobs. The production, in Greenwich Village, closes this weekend.