New Jewish Theatre closes its 2014-15 with “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding.” Based on a true story, the musical chronicles the life of writer David Hein’s mother while addressing the topic of marriage equality through song and dance. New Jewish Theatre artistic director Kathleen Sitzer and actors Ben Nordstrom and Laura Ackermann joined “Cityscape” host Steve Potter to discuss the production.
Nordstrom, who portrays David Hein, accompanied himself on guitar to perform the song that opens the production.
“My mother’s lesbian Jewish Wiccan wedding was nice.
Not a typical wedding, it was out on the field. Nobody threw rice.
And, it all happened in Canada. Yes, things happen in Canada.
But the fact of the matter is Canada’s just like here.”
The story begins in an airport in Lincoln, Neb. The main character, Claire, played by Laura Ackermann, had just lost her job, divorced her husband, and was at an awful and unhappy point in her life. She had recently accepted a professorship at a university in Ottawa, Canada and upon moving there, rented an apartment from a woman who directs an all-women’s choir. Claire joined the choir, and met and fell in love with Jane, played by Deborah Sharn.
Throughout the play, Claire discovered that she was unhappy because she was not living authentically, as a lesbian
“I was sent the script over a year ago, and had a lovely invitation to come and be in the show,” Ackermann said. “And I loved it!”
While Sitzer said that the musical is probably one of the only Jewish productions to tackle the subject of marriage equality and same-sex relationships, the situation is not a unique one.
“One of our production people has that kind of situation—growing up with three mothers, one of whom is a lesbian and the other is a Wiccan,” Sitzer said.
So, what is a Wiccan? A Wiccan is the proper name for a witch, and is a spiritual reference for life, nature and being yourself.
“Despite the title and the kookiness of it, it’s a very sweet show about family and acceptance,” Nordstrom said.
“My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding” has won awards including Outstanding New Music and Best Book from the New York Film Academy and a nomination for Best Comedic Play in the Canadian Comedy Awards.
- When: May 7 – 31, 2015
- Where: JCC’s Wool Studio Theatre, 2 Millstone Campus Drive, St. Louis, MO 63146
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