By Elise Jones, Mommybites blog editor
This past May I had the ultimate pleasure of watching a musical comedy, Rated P for Parenthood, that opened at South Orange Performing Arts Center in South Orange, NJ. Due to its overwhelming success, it now has a stage in NYC at the Westside Theater and is a fantastic show all about the comedy of parenting.
Every once in a while it is nice to get out and do something you use to previously enjoy before becoming a parent, like going to see a musical comedy about how absurd and fleeting parenting is. I was invited to sit in on working rehearsal to watch this original musical that is made up of around 30 different vignettes- some songs and some skits- that focus on the joys, trials, and tribulations of parenting.
The show’s opening song begins with a “journey that starts with a sperm and an egg; then all hell breaks loose.” The beginning stages of parenting were nailed in songs and skits about the delivery room, sending out embarrassing photos, dealing with in-laws, and who gets up in the middle of the night. Lines like “You think that was hard (delivering the baby), now the hard part starts!” and “I’ll give you a $50 if you get the baby (crying in the middle of the night). Make it $100.” “OK, deal.” had me nodding and laughing at the same time. Early on, the audience is introduced to a song that reoccurs throughout the show and examines a parent’s self-doubt but reassures them if children can manage to do age-appropriate activities “You probably didn’t fuck up!”
The show continues to follow parents as they move through the different ages of their children. There are the awkward questions/conversations parents have- how did the baby get in mommy’s tummy, catching parents in “the act”, did you and dad have sex before you got married, etc.- that pop up during the show and I found them to be quite comical and the actor’s reactions and the script to be spot-on. From kindergarden admission interviews, dads trying to make dad friends at a playground, dropping off your child at their first day of school, and parent-teacher conferences (a FANTASTIC rap song performed by the two male actors that still has me in stitches), you would be hard pressed to find any school-age stage that isn’t turned into a laughing matter at the hands of the four-fine actors who take turns rotating from parent to child to grandparents to teenager with fluidity and ease that makes the show extremely enjoyable.
Some of the moments parents might find hysterical are the “miscommunications” that happen over text messages between a husband and wife. It definitely shows you how some text can be lost in translation and provides for some comedy at the expense of the husband/wife involved. There are also the skits I appreciate as a mom but haven’t had the unfortunate terror of experiencing yet: teaching your teen to drive, talking about sex with your daughter, helping with trig homework (and discovering your son is smarter than you), prom night, and moving into the college (co-ed) dorm. Yikes.
The show ends with a message that made me tear up a bit and sums up parenting: “Remember it all because time likes to fly” and “return your mother’s call.”
When: Tues—Thur 7pm, Fri—Sat 8pm, Wed/Sat 2:30pm, Sun 3pm (the show runs about 1.5 hours)
Where: Westside Theatre Upstairs, 407 West 43rd Street (Between 9th and 10th Avenues), NYC
Tickets: $90- $125. To purchase, visit Telecharge.com or http://www.ratedpthemusical.com/tickets.php.
BONUS- NEW: Affordable childcare available during select performances with Playtime! Visit www.PlaytimeNYC.org for more info.