Nursery Rhymes-Review by Jen Bush
In Nursery Rhymes, Jill wants to go up the hill with Jack and do a lot more than fetch a pail of water. Mary wants to have a little lamb with Jack Sprat who eats no fat and is fitness obsessed. Irene and Chip are a couple in their mid to late thirties. Irene is a successful V.P. in advertising and Chip is a freelance writer working from home. Irene’s biological clock and libido are out of control. She starts dropping some not so subtle hints around the house to encourage Chip toward parenthood. Chip is resistant. He’s very happy to jog and do push-ups without a child underfoot and wonders why Irene wants a baby as opposed to an Equinox body. Unbeknownst to Chip, Irene invites a couple in their 50’s over for coffee and conversation. This was no social call. Marge and Frank were tasked with railroading Chip into fatherhood. After arguing about babies, birth control, money and the missionary position, the doorbell rings.
Marge and Frank are a couple in their 50’s with a 12 year old at home. They enter Chip and Irene’s home bickering about leaving little Mikey alone. Marge appears disoriented and doesn’t seem to know where she is. We find out that she’s been hit hard by menopause. Chip is initially rude but the characters eventually find a way to discuss the very personal topic of parenthood.
Jan Ewing wrote, directed, and co- produced along with Jay Michaels a compelling and resonating piece that is accessible to all humans regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. Unless the decision is made at the beginning of the union, all couples wrestle with when, how and where to bring an offspring into the world. Amid a lot of bickering and arguing among all 4 characters, there were some very funny and some very poignant moments.
This was a play presented on Zoom with spot on narration provided by Jan Ewing. It was executed so well that the viewer was able to concentrate on the content and forget they were seeing a play on Zoom. All the actors were well suited to their parts. Colleen White did a wonderful job bringing the baby obsessed sex crazed Irene to life. She showed a wide range of emotion and did well with delivering humorous lines. Patrick Hamilton had good chemistry with Colleen White and gave the character of Chip some acerbic wit as well as effective humor. It is evident that he is a confident and experienced actor. Kristyn Koczur gave an outstanding performance as Marge who was struggling with menopause. Her character may have been forgetful, but her performance is hard to forget. She was funny one moment and the next she was breaking your heart. J Michael Baran did a fine job as Marge’s mercurial yet introspective husband Frank. He gave a very focused and even-keeled performance. His character was also the unassuming voice of reason in the show. If you are wondering if Chip and Irene decide to rock-a-bye baby, you’ll have to see the show to find out.
“Nursery Rhymes” can be seen on JMC: Channel i (visit jaymichaelsarts.com for the link)