“Secrets of a Soccer Mom”

“Secrets of a Soccer Mom” is funny and poignant at the same time. Shows run through April 11.

So, Stage Door Players is featuring something called “Secrets of a Soccer Mom.” It’s got to be a light comedy, right? Nothing wrong with that. We could all use a laugh these days.

Well, Secrets is a comedy, and you’ll get a kick out of it. But it’s a bit more than that. As Kathleen Clark's all-female romp moves along, you'll be surprised at the depth of the script and the issues we confront.

But let’s talk about this cast of three. Sometimes the acting is so on point that it lifts a play to a championship level. This is one of those evenings. Adena Brumer, Brittani Minnieweather and Hannah Morris have that kind of wonderful chemistry. They work together like—well, like a great soccer team.

It's a sideline setting, a soccer field where, on a Sunday afternoon the mothers are facing off against their third-grade sons. Of course, they intend to let the children win, like any good parents would do—until the game unfolds, human nature intrudes, and it becomes a whole other kind of game. Sports always provide a handy metaphor for daily life, but these three desperate housewives give that old saw a new twist.

As the women share their lives and struggles, they find a second wind—in the game, and, we would hope, in life itself. Is there life after becoming a soccer mom? Can they regain their youthful vigor, sex appeal, and independence? Or is it life on the sidelines from now on?

Playwright Kathleen Clark (Southern Comforts, In the Mood, Banner) gives us this trio of weary moms: Nancy, Lynn, and Alison. Nancy (Adena Brumer) just wants to do what is best for her children, but has she lost her sense of self in the process?

Lynn (Brittani Minnieweather) is the PTA Volunteer extraordinaire, who has given up her rewarding career to provide every opportunity possible for the children in her community. And by the way, can you help with the field trip to the zoo next week?

And as a relative newcomer to town, Alison (Hannah Morris) tries hard to fit in with the group of moms, all the while struggling with tough challenges at home.

Again, the performances are as tough and tireless as—well, you know. Brumer, Minnieweather, and Morris are terrific individually and as a team finding its unity. The script is good, but the actresses bring it an utterly credible ring of truth.

Director Suehyla El-Attar assembled this terrific cast and provided just the right direction to let them shine. Chuck Welcome has turned the stage into a ball park, but the set never feels boring or static. Other technicians include J.D. Williams (Lighting), Rial Ellsworth (Sound), Jim Alford (Costumes), Kathy Ellsworth (Properties), Bradley Bergeron (Projection), George Deavours (Wigs), and AJ Stevenson (Stage Manager). Additional assistance provided by Ryan Brodie (Master Carpenter), Chris Moneymaker and Hampton Whatley (Carpenters), and Tom Priester (Electrician).

“Secrets of a Soccer Mom” continues through April 14 with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. There is one additional performance on Thursday, April 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $33 for adults, $30 for seniors, $22 for students and $15 for youth under 12 years.

Stage Door Players is located in the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody and on the web at stagedoorplayers.net. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 770-396-1727.

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