Review by Bob Rich
Half-way through her show, Maureen Muldoon explains that she was raised in a “dysfunctional musical” with plenty of joyful singing growing up in her imperfect family. Her ability to keep hearing the music in life, during challenging seasons in families, is quite memorable.
In her one-woman show, Muldoon talks about delicate family situations but she always comes back to the music, humor and poetry in it all. She begins the show with a memory from her own childhood, climbing to the top of the high dive, but coming back down again in trepidation rather than jumping into the swimming pool. Poignantly, at the end of the show, she returns to this metaphor of the high dive, but with her son beside her after he had shown bravery in his life.
The production is upbeat and encouraging. In a warm-spirited way, she urges us to try to accept people for who they are and to accept life’s inevitable challenges.
The lighting is bright and the staging spare to keep the attention on Muldoon as she recounts her touching anecdotes. Rather than using props, she pantomimes ideas to bring them to life, such as the captivating process of a caterpillar emerging from a chrysalis.
I recommend this production for its generous spirit. At one point she says when life throws you curveballs, just “sing and rhyme” in response – just react with music and invention. Her production demonstrates this philosophy with grace and wit.
“Trans-Parent Love” was performed on January 17 at WhiteFire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. On Thursday, January 24 Muldoon brings her show to SaraSolo Fest in Sarasota, Florida. For more information visit MaureenMuldoon.com.