“Diary Of A MILF” Runs Wild On Stage

Reviews

By Christopher Popple

Running across the stage in athletic wear, MESHELLE hollers and stretches, enjoying a brief reprieve from her chaotic life as a mother of three children. Her schedule for the day is jam-packed. In the morning, she has to perform in a Kwanzaan presentation at her daughter’s school. Later that night, she must attend a holiday dinner with her extended family. That’s on top of dealing with obnoxious white moms with spoiled daughters.

What keeps this busy woman sane while juggling so much responsibility? Living every day as a MILF – a “Mom I’d Love to Follow.” She’s the Indie Mom of Comedy. A wild spirit who won’t let age or even her loved ones stop her from living her best life. MESHELLE puts it into words better than I ever could: “If I don’t figure out how to get my groove on, someone’s gonna die.”

The leading lady performs with an infectious energy that draws your attention away from the minimalist set. The lighting is her only partner in this hour-long monologue, whether it’s shining a heavenly beacon down upon her, or giving her a dark red spotlight perfect for busting a groove. Aside from these minor tricks, all MESHELLE needs is a few clothes to make her performance a hit, proving you don’t need an extravagant stage to endear yourself to your audience.

There’s a striking earnestness in her cadence as she describes the burdens of motherhood. As MESHELLE wonders whether she receives as much love from her kids as she gives to them, or explains there is no perfect method to parenting, there’s never a sense that she wants us to solemnly nod in pity. She treats her audience like friends who can both empathize with and laugh about her problems in equal measure, which makes her soliloquys between comedy sketches feel more personal and captivating.

Speaking of those sketches , this show is really damn funny. Every time MESHELLE impersonates a white woman, really laying on the vocal fry and Valley girl accent, the crowd can’t stop laughing. Sometimes these character sketches can outstay their welcome, but before you can catch yourself getting bored she’ll pull you back in with another great joke.

The performance ends with a mock stand-up routine at a comedy club, to which MESHELLE escapes every night to live out her dream of being a comedian. MESHELLE jokingly refers to her audience as “free therapy,” since she doesn’t have the means to afford actual healthcare. It’s a sad and unfortunate reality caked with a thick layer of cynical humor. It’s a joke that captures the show perfectly. “Diary of a MILF” is a hilarious monologue about never letting your passion die out, and MESHELLE is one mom I’d be happy to follow.

Diary Of A MILF (Mom I’d Love to Follow)
Performed by MESHELLE
Sept. 22 at 6pm
Director: Rain Pryor
Production Assistant: Shawn M. Mason
Art Director: Darius Wilmore
Original Music: Michael Ellison
Photo: courtesy of the production
United Solo 2018
Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street
New York City

CHRISTOPHER POPPLE is a Monmouth University graduate and budding reviewer.

 

 

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