Ma’s Kitchen Review – Where There’s More than Food Cooking

Maeria Paez in MA'S KITCHEN - Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

Written and performed by Maeria Paez and directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson, MA’S KITCHEN is another of the “Best of the Fest” selections from Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest. First presented to a sold-out house in February 2020, the provocative play had its streaming debut on Friday, June 12, 2020.

Maeria Paez – Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

The perfect immigrant mother, Mama is preparing an all-Italian dinner party – punctuated by her secret sauce – for her daughter Mary. As Mama begins to tell the audience about Mary, it soon becomes apparent that Mary started out as a problem child who grew up to become an unpredictable and occasionally difficult adult. For MA’S KITCHEN is really Mary’s story as seen through her ever-loving and always-accepting mother’s eyes.

Maeria Paez – Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

Mama is especially happy these days. Mary has found the ideal, caring husband – a man so understanding that he tells Mary to quit her day job and pursue her dream of being a singer full time. Now Mary is unexpectedly pregnant with their first child. Even if Mary is ambivalent about this glitch in her career plans, Mama is certain that it will all work out. A few prayers here and there – and a nice big helping of tenderly home-made red sauce – and any and all problems will quickly resolve.

Maeria Paez – Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

MA’S KITCHEN gently explores multiple themes, including marriage, motherhood, Catholicism, career, family secrets, love, and tragic loss. For 80 minutes, MA’S KITCHEN gives Maeria Paez full rein to morph into multiple characters living her true story. The stage is nearly bare, depending on projections and lighting to enhance the basic tale of a conflicted young woman, her devoted husband, and her determined mother. Paez also manages to throw in some surprises which keep the story-ball rolling in unexpected directions.

Maeria Paez – Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

MA’S KITCHEN can be streamed from the Whitefire Theatre’s library. Tickets are $9.99 with a service charge of $2.60. For tickets and information, call Whitefire at 818-687-8559 or go online.

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