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Mothers and Sons: A Tale of Regret ,Loss,Redemption and Hope

Michael Taber

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There is a saying that “Time heals all wounds” and in some instances, that is the case, but in the play “Mothers and Sons,” time is just a reminder that not all wounds mend.The Visalia Players put on a production of Terrence McNally’s “Mothers and Sons” at the Ice House Theatre in Visalia, Ca. This funny and sometimes heartbreaking tale chronicles a mother’s unexpected visit to her dead son’s lover after years of no contact. This play is unique in a way that you could feel the spirit of Andre in the room the whole time. You could feel like times that Andre the dead son was very much a character on stage. The true strength of this play is the duality of the world of today and how it is melded to the past to make it appear that it is all playing out at the same time.

The mother, Katherine, played by COS psychology Professor Debra Hansen, makes a surprise visit to Cal, played by Christopher Volkerts ,years after the death of her son and Cal’s lover/partner Andre’s death from AIDS. The story of a mother who lives in the past and is now alone and disillusioned with the world is in stark contrast to the Cal who has suffered but has moved own and has a family with a bright future.It is a cautionary tale of letting pain remain and how letting anger go unchecked will rob you of any happiness that life has to offer. Throw in that what Cal has now could have been Andre if he had lived. Cal now has a husband, Will, played by Travis Hauert, and a son played by Luciano Noguerua. This is a heartbreaking and inspiring play about homophobia, AIDS, regrets, love, the modern family and forgiveness.

The powerful performances of Hansen and Volkert drove the show so that you felt the loss they both displayed over Andre. Though Andre was not a casted character in the production, his presence was felt on stage at time through out. The social implication of the world we live in today. deriving from the a world that was, is a sobering conversation this play demands from its audience. I have to applaud director Peg Collins’ production that needed to be addressed to everyone to have a intellectual and meaningful thought on the subjects brought forth.

The moving performances alone from Hansen and Volkert made this a worthwhile experience that should be seen.

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Mothers and Sons: A Tale of Regret ,Loss,Redemption and Hope