Before the onslaught of celebrity teen moms and stand-up funny men, mothers were the original comedians.
While mom-coms continue gaining popularity in Hollywood, the originators, a group of mothers from the Lower Mainland, are gearing up for their third installment of Mom’s The Word — Nest 1/2 Empty, which hits the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Nov. 8.
“It continues to follow our painful little lives,” laughed founding member and Okanagan product Deborah Williams. “There’s still lots of comedy, but it follows lots of hard subjects.”
The show, which follows the timeline of the mothers, is set around the time that their children begin to leave the nest. But when the kids leave parental duties are far from over, as the need transfers to parents and even spouses.
With roots in the ‘90s, Mom’s The Word originated when Jill Daum, Alison Kelly, Robin Nichol, Barbara Pollard and Williams joined forces to tackle the problems faced in parenthood with a comedic twist.
“About 25 years ago, we were all actors in our 20s and 30s who had kids and noticed a lack of work,” Williams said. “Parenting was very uncool at that time. “
But now, 25 years and two installments later, the moms have received international acclaim, with their show appearing in 19 countries across the globe in 14 different languages.
“None of us dreamed it was a possibility,” Williams said. “It’s been huge. People say they’ve been waiting for this one (Nest 1/2 Empty). They feel there’s a sense of camaraderie with us because they know about our lives. It’s been really wonderful. It’s very exciting.”
Live theatre and live comedy is a tough nut to crack, but Williams believes the success the moms have seen stems from the relatability of their subject matter.
“It’s a hard art form,” Williams said. “It’s always been a theatre of recognition. There’s a sense of relief, of being off the hook.”
Moreover, the moms share personal comedic stories that Williams feels helps them connect with the audience.
“It feels like we’re in a circle — anyone could come up and share their stores,” Williams said. “It’s a sense of sharing. It feels like it’s honouring parenting.”
While the moms share intimate stories of parenthood, embarrassing secrets, bodies backfiring and heartfelt tales, it’s not a story made simply for mothers. It’s a widely accessible comedic tour through life’s challenges, parent or otherwise.
“Even for people who don’t have children, it’s a wider range of what life is,” Williams said.
And it’s an internationally-renowned installment, falling 10 years after the second and just over 20 years after the first, that the moms and Summerland’s own Williams are looking forward to bringing to the Okanagan.
“We’re really excited to be coming to Vernon.”
Mom’s The Word III — Nest 1/2 Empty rolls into the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $40 adult, $37 senior and $35 student through the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca. Discounts are available for members of the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society. Mom’s The Word III — Nest 1/2 Empty is the second of five shows in the society’s 2017/18 theatre series.