Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Department of Theatre and Dance put on an emotion-filled adaptation of Terrence McNally’s “Mother and Sons” in the Andreas Theater at the Earley Center for Performing Arts, which ran March 27-30.
I was fortunate enough to attend the Friday night performance of this production, and from looking at the audience, everyone was in awe. The story is set in the Ogden/Porter apartment in New York City in 2014, so the story is still relevant to today. Andre was a late romantic partner of Cal Porter (Ty Hudson), who died due to HIV, and Andre’s mother is still learning how to accept her son’s death.
On a winter night, Andre’s mother, Katherine Gerard (Christi Smith), visits Cal’s apartment in order to receive closure, but she receives news she didn’t expect. Cal married a man named Will Ogden (Ryan Joseph Feist), and together they have a son named Bud Ogden-Porter (Regan Allen). Katherine struggles to accept that Cal moved on with his life and even married, but Cal is also still struggling with the loss of Andre as well.
Tensions rise throughout the production between Cal and Katherine and Will and Katherine. Katherine believes that Cal is the reason her son died, and she was holding onto the grudge that gay men aren’t good to society. Will was low-key flaunting the fact that he has this wonderful life being married to Cal and is raising a child with him, which made Katherine believe that Cal was able to move on easily from Andre, which wasn’t the case. In midst of all the hurt and anger, Bud’s young age and curiosity allowed him to help Katherine understand that you can still love one that is no longer with you while moving on and enjoying life.
This production brought on many times of laughter with Bud’s bubbly and curious personality while also bringing many moments of sadness with Andre’s death and Katherine’s behavior. “Mother and Sons” makes the audience think about what’s really important in life and teaches that no matter what one’s sexuality is, everyone deserves to be loved for the way they are.
This show was outstanding with the cast, and I would recommend it to everyone who asks me about it.
Header photo courtesy of MSU Theatre Department.