The women's theater collective MaMa mOsAiC presents this multimedia show incorporating drama, monologues, short films, and dance. The play is a bit slow to start, but once the ensemble finds its feet, they tackle the range of global repercussions for women in the realm of matrimony. Shá Cage, Katie Leo, Juliana Pegues, and Aamera Siddiqui navigate myriad characters in the course of the evening, though many of the most effective moments (such as an interwoven tale of female babies being murdered at birth in male-centric societies, followed by a harrowing monologue by Siddiqui on ritual genital mutilation) ensue when the ensemble sheds dramatic convention and blends into an abstract storytelling unit. Much of the work's strength derives from the writing (Jeany Park replaces Siddiqui in the script credits), which is smart and sophisticated in both text and message. There's a heavy-handed shot at Sally Struthers that seems strangely out of context, and a skit about Tina and Tina's wedding that loses focus shortly after the audience reacts to joke. But Cage delivers monologues by an African woman castigated for pursuing love, and another as a character who enjoyed a long and happy marriage, that exhibit her usual magnetic energy and stage presence. Leo turns in a recurring performance as a woman trapped in a web of anorexia and spousal abuse that provoked gasps of sympathetic concern from the audience during a performance last week. Film interludes on dowries strike an interesting anthropological tone, complete with a posh-sounding narrator whose thread of thought bobs and weaves with the illogic of his subject. While the spare set does little to contribute to the onstage energy, Ellena Schoop and Elizabeth Wawizonek's choreography evokes a sense of warmth and connection that softens some of the show's more poignant and jarring moments. MaMa mOsAiC have crafted a show for grown-ups, one that rises above didacticism and political point-scoring in a search for truth and authenticity. More often than not they succeed.
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