One-woman show explores love-hate relationship with mom
Review by John K. Adams
Ah! The joy of discovering that our parents were merely human and not monsters or worse! That revelation when we see them in full round, flawed but doing their imperfect best, makes us human too.
In Warm Cheese, the one-woman show staged for the Hollywood Fringe Festival, writer/performer Teresa Thome portrays her mother, often hilariously, as a darkly cynical hypochondriac with a list of maladies longer than many people’s resumes.
The title refers to the slices of individually wrapped, American cheese her mother kept ever ready in her purse to tide her daughter over until dinner. What? No Camembert?
Thome vividly describes the quest through her mother’s private effects and diaries for the secret “ultimate plan” which would put sense to her mother’s antagonistic mothering. En route, she discovers that the haunting we so fear does not stalk us “out there,” but inhabits our heads.
As we grope our way toward some semblance of clarity, it surprises us that another we meet on that dark path might be a parent. We come to realize our cherished perceptions and instincts for self-preservation are honed by the very people we once believed were antagonists.
The misperceived reality of children about the motives of their caretakers makes a sizeable sub-genre of literature. Thome’s poignant Warm Cheese is a welcome addition to that.
“Warm Cheese” is staged for the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival at Asylum, Studio C, located at 6488 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles. Show dates are Saturday, June 18th at 8pm and Sunday, June 26th at 2:30pm. Visit WarmCheese.com for more information.