Last month, I announced a ticket giveaway for a performance of the Geffen Playhouse production of "In Mother Words." I attended myself, along with several other Los Angeles mom bloggers, and if you were there, you would have probably laughed at us -- because when the houselights went back on, we were all sobbing at the touching end.
It's been so long since I've been a regular theater patron that when I do get out to a live performance, I am surprised at how much magic can be created merely with good writing, a little lighting and terrific acting, even on a bare stage.
The show itself is less a play than a series of funny yet poignant vignettes from 14 wonderful writers, including Pulitzer Prize winner Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart), Lisa Loomer (Girl, Interrupted) and Marco Pennette ("Ugly Betty," "Desperate Housewives" and numerous other TV series).
The production is divided into five "chapters," each covering a different stage of the relationship between mother and child: New Moms, Real People, Teenage Years, On Their Own and Coming Home
The production we saw consisted of Jane Kaczmarak, Amy Pietz, Saidah Arrika Ekulona and James Lecesne. I felt I knew Kaczmarak and Pietz from the roles they have played on television - but the only trait she (and the rest of the cast) displayed here that are shared with "Malcolm's mom" are a fierce determination to do whatever it takes to raise and protect their children.
"In Mother Words" is playing at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse through May 1 (note: the cast I saw will change after March 13). This would make a wonderful girls' night out or pre-Mother's Day outing. For ticket information, visit the Geffen's website.
DISCLOSURE: Opinions expressed above are my own. I was comped my tickets to see the production of "In Mother Words." I was not compensated in any other way.
One of the biggest online success stories of the past year has been the wild popularity of group discount sites. I subscribe to a lot of them: Groupon, Living Social, Gilt, Screaming Discounts, Screamin' Daily Deals - and I think I forgot a few. But you get the picture.
Several of them have pitched me over the last few months to join as an affiliate. I've declined most of them. You see, I've signed up for about a zillion different affiliate programs over the last ten years and have never made a dime. That's because you need to have a huge audience to generate the enough sales to get a payout - and I simply don't produce content that has that kind of mass audience appeal. So essentially, I end up doing a lot of work for the company for nothing.
So why am I now promoting WinWin Living?
For one thing, because they're a little bit different from the other sites. The companies highlighted in their daily deals are often green businesses, which I want to support. They also give 10% of their profits to local charities, which makes me feel good.
Finally, I have a weakness for earnest, idealistic young people who are trying to show the world that you can succeed with a business model that gives back to society.
At the moment, WinWin Living is only available in the Los Angeles metro region - but they will soon be expanding up into Santa Barbara.
DISCLOSURE: I was asked to join WinWin Living as an affiliate; an offer I am considering, although my track record with such programs is not good and I tend to believe they are more trouble than they are worth. So I have not yet signed up with the company and presently have nothing to gain by mentioning them here. I just thought it was a really cool business model and wanted to share it here.
A number of my recent posts are laments that I cannot seem to finish anything these days. This is why I have been turning down most of the requests I get to review books. This makes me sad, because there was a time (many years ago, I'm afraid) when I was a voracious reader.
But every once in a while, a pitch comes in that is so perfect for me that it breaks through all the PR noise. That's what occurred just before the holidays, when I was presented with information on a silly little book targeted to children, called Amazing Cows - written by Sandra Boynton.
I've long been a fan of Boynton's whimsical greeting cards (remember Hippo Birdie Two Ewes? A classic!) - So I broke my own guideline and agreed to receive a copy... you know, so I could review it.
The book is a bonanza for Boynton fans; 96 pages of funny bovine drawings and silly puns. And yes, I think targeting it to youngsters is probably the right idea - because whimsy is not for everyone (although I think people who can't appreciate a silly cow drawing should probably be avoided).
Amazing Cows - "Udder Absurdity for Children... All Ages up to a Hundred and Moo."
DISCLOSURE: The Amazon link embedded in this post actually is an affiliate link, so should anyone click on it and purchase the book, I might earn a small commission. Or you could just look for it on your own.