Seeking wisdom from your elders is a time-honored tradition in female communities. We seek out those who have traveled the paths of love, marriage, childbirth, divorce and senescence before us, hoping for guidance, or at least affirmation that we’re not alone.
Actor Andrea Caban does just that in her one-woman play “Questions My Mother Can’t Answer,” in production this weekend at Boise Contemporary Theater.
Caban’s show strikes a lovely chord as she recreates the wise women in her life who help her heal after being hit by a New York taxi.
Her characters run the gamut from a Moroccan-born ballroom dancer living in Florida, her aunt Sally, a former donations-only prostitute turned healer, a Norwegian housewife, a Southern black lesbian and eventually her own mother — all played by Caban.
The result is a sweet, thoughtful look at one woman’s struggle to reconnect to her life after a trauma, and her search to discover what it means to be married.
Caban wrote the play out of her own biography. After being hit by a cab in NYC, where she currently still lives, Caban started working on this play by doing her interviews. During the process she came to Boise in 2009 to act in BCT’s production of “The Pavilion,” which she references in the play.
In Craig Wright’s “The Pavilion,” Caban played 17 characters — including the creator of the universe. Here again she proves herself adept at this type of theater, as she jumps from character to character with ease.
It’s a fun show that touches on many truths that received knowing smiles, laughs and nods from the mostly female audience.
The play is a straight shot, lasts about 75 minutes, and it’s a total blast for a group of women, though the men in the audience seemed to enjoy it as well. There are three more performances. If you have the time, it’s worth making the effort, with a special matinee on Mother’s Day.
QUESTIONS MY MOTHER CAN’T ANSWER: 2 and 8 p.m. May 12 and 2 p.m. May 13, 854 Fulton St. $15-$35 general, $10-$20 ages younger than 30. 331-9224, BCTheater.com.