Our Mother’s Brief Affair: An Affair to Remember, Sort of

Our Mother’s Brief Affair, by Richard Greenberg, starring Linda Lavin, is a juicy enough topic, given the  title of the play. The set up of a mother coming to the end her life, confessing  to her children a long ago affair is intriguing, but that is sort of where it ends.

Our Mother's Brief Affair: An Affair to Remember, Sort of

Anna, played by the engaging Ms. Lavin has a huge secret to reveal to her kids who find their mother distant, a bit of a drama queen, but always elegant. As she declares she is on her deathbed (which she has declared numerous times before) she begins to unravel a few details at a time. As the scenery shifts from hospital room to park bench where the affair was sparked, the story is revealed, and the children weigh in with commentary, addressing the audience with sometimes sarcastic interjections. We are given reason to ask, does Anna have dementia? Was this affair real? If so, are the intricacies that are stunningly revealed at the end of the first act true, or a figment of her imagination as she conjures a character from history (that bears explanation?)  We are not quite sure, and the question is, do we really care?

 

Our Mother's Brief Affair: An Affair to Remember, Sort of

I liked Greenberg’s choice of topics, and his desire for his central character to tell this story to her grown children, simply because it was important to her.

There are a few lines that are stellar.  But overall, the writing is weak.

The cast includes Kate Arrington as her daughter, Greg Keller as her son (they are twin siblings)
and John Procaccino as the gentleman with whom she reports she had an affair.

Linda Lavin owns the piece and carries it along.  Our Mother’s Brief Affair could hold your interest, simply because of the topic, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite fit the bill.

Directed by Lynn Meadow, Our Mother’s Brief Affair runs through March 6.

http://www.manhattantheatreclub.com/

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