Not My Grandmother's Daughter

Solo Show · flourishing house · Ages 10+ · United States of America

one person show world premiere
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June 24, 2023 certified reviewer
tagged as: hummingbird · mother · Grandmother · light · shadow · fast fringe · Doily

What I liked

Harley clearly has a love for her craft, and a love for her grandmother. Her movements are deliberate and thoughtful, and her memories touching.

The sound design was clever and wonderful.

What I didn't like

With a title that could be deconstructed to “Not my Mother,” Harley fails to answer the question of “why” for the audience. Why this piece? Why now? Why share a loving grandmother’s nurture vs a cruel mother’s nature, and wait, didn’t that same grandmother help nurture that mother? Why is this not explored? I feel strongly that this show could be elevated into something spectacular (which is why this review might read harsh), but for now, I just wish I hadn’t been left in the shadows.

Oh, and I wish I hadn’t sat house left; the downstage-facing light for the big screen was blinding! Sit C or HR and save your retinas.

My overall impression

A sweet show with no risks or stakes. Lovely shadow puppetry produced on a delightfully creative and practical set, this show is filled with nostalgia and is a charming homage to a grandmother. At less than thirty minutes, it lasts about the length of two starlight mints and has about as much substance.

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