Wednesday, 11 December 2013 04:47

Theatre Review - Mom's Gift

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The Group Rep presents
A World Premiere Comedy

Photo2 Moms Gift  Cyrus Alexander Chris Winfield photo Sherry Netherland-2


Written by Phil Olson
Directed by Sherry Netherland
Produced by Laura Coker for the Group Rep

The holidays are upon us, and The Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre has the perfect addition to your ever-busy schedule. MOM’S GIFT, the world premiere family comedy written by the so talented Phil Olson and wonderfully directed by Sherry Netherland, gives us a heartwarming story in the vein of “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Set in the “You Betcha!” state of Minnesota, Kat (Gina Yates) has returned home to celebrate her father’s birthday (Chris Winfield/Patrick Skelton). She really doesn’t want to celebrate his birthday, but has returned home only to fulfill a court order that Kat make peace with her Dad as part of her Anger Management Program. Kat has been angry and defensive since her Mom’s death almost a year ago. Now, Mom (Julia Silverman) also arrives to celebrate her husband’s birthday. But Kat is the only one who can see Mom. You see, Mom is a ghost. She expected to go to heaven directly after her death, but she must complete a task in order for her transition to be complete. Something like “an angel gets their wings” from “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Mom’s presence only seems to annoy Kat, but her Mom wants to guide her through this difficult time with the family, as well as her anger with her Dad. But because Kat is the only one who can see Mom, so you can imagine how funny things are going to get. Just to complicate things, Dad has found a new “friend”, Trish (Lisa McGee-Mann) who took care of Mom before her death. She has had her own struggles in life, but now has become quite close to Dad. Less than a year after his wife’s death. Hum???

Photos Gina Yates Trishahershberger behind couch Julia Silverman photo Sherry Netherland

Kat’s sister Brittney (Trisha Hershberger) is the exact opposite of Kat. She is cute and bouncy and extremely exuberant, but appears to be dumber than “a box of rocks”, but you will just have to wait and see how this one works itself out. Kevin (Cyrus Alexander) is a long time love of Kat’s and arrives at the party unprepared for all the family issues that are about to present themselves. He is still crazy about Kat. I want to know what she’s waiting for with this one.

This is a talented group of actors, and the performances are credit worthy. Phil Olson’s marvelous script, and Sherry Netherland wonderful direction position this family so we see all their failings, as well as all the love they have to give.

MOM’S GIFT has won accolades from numerous competitions and festivals across the country, and you will know the writer, Phil Olson, from his uproariously funny “DON’T HUG ME” series of plays. This is a MUST SEE to make your holiday complete. And don’t you want to see if Mom gets her wings?


Cast: Cyrus Alexander, Saratoga Ballantine, Trisha Hershberger, Lisa McGee-Mann, Julia Silverman, Patrick Skelton, Chris Winfield, Gina Yates
Director: Sherry Netherland
Producer for the Group Rep: Laura Coker
Assistant Director: Steve Shaw
Sound Designer: Steve Shaw
Stage Manager/Technical Director: Britt Chichester
Set Design: Chris Winfield
Lighting Design: Sabrina Beattie
Costume Design: Lynda Pyka
Public Relations: Nora Feldman
Marketing: Ben Goldberg
Graphic Design: Doug Haverty – Art & Soul Design
Program: Drina Durazo

The Lonny Chapman Theatre
10900 Burbank Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Tickets/Information: or (818) 763-5990

Runs: December 6, 2013 – January 19, 2014

Plays: Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 2pm
Talk-back Sundays with Cast after the show – Dec.8th & Dec. 15th

Reservations: or (818) 763-5990
Tickets: $15 - $22 (Admission: $22; Senior/Student: $17; Group 10+: $15)

Running Time: 100 minutes plus one intermission
Parking: Ample street parking on Burbank Blvd. and on Cleon Ave. south of the Burbank Blvd.

Read 4979 times Last modified on Thursday, 12 December 2013 14:05
Cathy Wayne

Cathy Wayne. Theatre reviews for

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