Amy Ritchie, Tyler Dippold, & Maria Whitley in My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding. Photo: Pandora Productions

My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding

By David Hein & Irene Sankoff
Directed by Julia Dingman Evans
Music Director: Jay Schwandt

A review by Jennifer Starr

Entire contents are copyright © 2024 by Jennifer Starr. All rights reserved. 

A production to celebrate all the love, especially that of a son for his mother, Pandora Productions’ musical My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding is a delightful rollick into a sweet, character-driven love story. I had the pleasure of attending this show (one I’d never heard of or seen before) last night at the Henry Clay Theatre. The musical’s team of writers is David Hein and Irene Sankoff. This show, simplistic and historically supportive with nice songs and wonderful characters, showed me that it is an early prototype of the writers’ other successful show, Come From Away. The production is well-rounded with good actors equipped with wonderful singing voices, a well-rehearsed live band, and quality technical elements. It is a nice and light Mother’s Day treat.

Highlights include leads Maria Whittley (Claire) and Amy Ritchie (Jane) whose “meet cute” love story is on display for us. Their singing voices matched well, and I enjoyed their harmonies too. Their chemistry and growing relationship are pleasant to experience. On stage throughout the performance and whilst playing the guitar, Tyler Dippold admirably played their adult son (David) as a balladeer/narrator whose admiration for his mother’s life was played joyfully and with sincerity. The whole cast had pleasing voices and were ready for the beautiful choral ensemble numbers. There is much character work by all the cast. Liam Curry as young David, whose teen angst is balanced with sentimentality, easily portrays other fun characters in Act 2.  I was especially impressed by Becca Litton’s versatility in various comedic roles. She is a hoot!  Olivia Marshall gave strength and grace to her character, Michelle, as a crazy cat lady roommate, and changed effortlessly into other ensemble characters. Kristina Nguyen (Irene/Trish) performed strongly as the daughter-in-law-to-be to be. Secure Ben Evans (Garth) plays a grounded and supportive father to David and the ex-husband who comes around eventually and gives other fun character work. Taylor Clemons was impressive as the singing rabbi who lent sincerity to religious elements, plus provided quality comic timing in the show as a pilot and reporter.

The live band (and sound effect contributors) on stage was fabulous and (happily) the sound in the hall was well balanced with the singers, though at times, a mic caused some projection issues for an actor which made me miss some quippy dialogue. The great projection images at the end of the show reinforced the realism of this love story with actual photos of the writer, his mother, and life. It was a unifying touch indeed. The lighting was good although some of the cues needed to be anticipated to meet the crossings of the actors in a few instances. There were noticeable sightline issues with the simplistic set with the audience view being slightly obstructed on house right and some backstage leg curtain access stage left.  

The cast had an appreciative opening night audience that laughed a lot and they will undoubtedly gel and hold for laughter in future performances (That is a wonderful on-stage learning experience). I enjoyed seeing new faces in community theater, plus a supportive endeavor from our local performing arts school in the production team.  Kudos to director Julie Dingman Evans on a quality production. A fun delve into a love story with touches of once-forbidden romance and nods into mystical practices, this show celebrates a charming romance and maternal adoration too. Be sure to take your mom or your lover, or your mom and her lover, or your friends and their lovers or mothers, to see My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding

Featuring Maria Whitley, Amy Ritchie, Tyler Dippold, Liam Curry, Ben Evans, Kristina Nguyen, Olivia Marshall, Becca Litton, and Taylor Clemons

My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding

May 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 @ 7:30 pm
May 12 @ 5:30 pm; May 19 @ 2:30 pm; May 20 @ 7:00 pm

Pandora Productions 
Henry Clay Theater
604 S. 3rd Street
Louisville, KY 40202  

Jennifer Starr is a Louisville Director, Actor, Stage Manager, and avid theatre goer with a BA in Theatre Arts with minors in Music and English from Eastern Kentucky University.  She serves on the board of directors of the Mind’s Eye Theatre Company and often assists local community theatre productions with her time and talent.