My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding

Revival of the hit winter play still good as ever

Sarah Whiting


Hillcrest Center Theater
1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul
651.647.4315; through August 26

What David Hein and Irene Carl Sankoff have in this musical comedy is right there in the title, but the actual wedding takes up only the final few minutes of the show. The rest of the piece, a revival of this past winter's sold-out hit, takes us along a woman's journey to newfound love and acceptance. David (Matt Rein in the scenes as an adult and Bryan Porter as a youth) shares the 15-plus-year journey of his mother, Claire (Laura B. Adams), who leaves Nebraska for Ottawa and discovers not just new emotions but a veritable soul mate in Jane (Tinia Moulder). While outside legal forces play a role (gay marriage was legalized in Canada in 2005), many of Claire's issues are drawn from the inside, including her own Jewish heritage (part two of three of the title; Jane is a Wiccan) and the bitter remnants of her marriage. This isn't a tense drama, however. Hein and Sankoff mine the years for human moments, from eccentric characters (a good friend on her way to being a certifiable cat lady) to a particularly poor choice of location for David's mothers to meet his wife: Hooters. The score isn't going to dethrone Sondheim or Rodgers and Hammerstein, but the lyrics move deftly between the funny situations our characters are caught in and the real emotions that any long-term relationship brings. The company is strong from top to bottom, while the staging and direction are clever without ever getting in the way of the story.

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