“The Memory of Water,” winner of the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, is a delicious romp on the way to the grave.
Set during the days leading up to their flawed mother’s funeral, three estranged and eccentric sisters gather to make final arrangements. There’s nothing like a funeral to bring out the worst and best in people, and Shelagh Stephenson’s sparkling, witty script provides an ensemble of talented actresses with the chance to really shine.
Mary, Teresa and Catherine struggle to come to terms with their wildly differing memories of childhood as their dead mother, Vi, continues to frustrate them from the grave. Mothers always provide their daughters with the notion of what it means to be a woman, and Vi is the gift that keeps on giving, as seen in her daughter’s ongoing battles in their own romantic relationships.
This touching and darkly hilarious story plays as a comedy for much of its length, but many of its most impressive moments take place when the laughter dies away without warning and the characters are overwhelmed by remembered anger and very present pain. “I’m just sayin’...people die...you can’t avoid it.”
On April 13, J CITY Theater will open “The Memory of Water” at The Underground Theater at St. Michael’s, 252 Ninth St., in downtown Jersey City. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through www.jcity.org or by calling (800) 838-3006.
Audiences are encouraged to reserve tickets due to limited seating and a limited run. The show is scheduled to close on April 28th.
A poignant story with a lot of heart
The cast includes Actor Equity Members Rosalind Ashford as Teresa, Sandy Cockrell as Mary, Stephen Gleason as Frank, and Joseph Langham as Mike. Rounding out the ensemble is Susan Slotoroff playing Catherine and Eileen Gaughan as Vi.
“When selecting this script, I was drawn to the potential of a strong ensemble piece, particularly in that it focused on the story of women, which can be difficult to find” says Artistic Director Sandy Cockrell. “The comedy is sharp, the dialogue is quick, and the story has a lot of heart and is quite poignant. I’m also drawn to a theatrical experience that focuses on the questions and leaves the answers to fend for themselves.”
This is the final production in J CITY Theater’s 2011 / 2012 Season, which has been their most successful in their six year history.
“We started the season with the NJ Premier of David Mamet’s ‘Race,’ bringing in huge numbers and great reviews. Now we finish up with lots of laughter with Stephenson’s ‘The Memory of Water,’ I think this season demonstrates our theater’s willingness to seek out challenges defy expectations.”
J CITY Theater is happy to continue their offerings of “Dinner and a Show” packages with local restaurants. As in the past, the famed Embankment Restaurant is offering their $30 prix fixe menu on performance nights and the ever popular Hamilton Inn is offering 10 percent off the entire bill for J CITY audience members.