Widows Anonymous is a sacred space where five women come together to share their true experience with grief. Not the pretty lace hanky, tidy grieving, that is expected of women. But rather, the wild ride of contradictory feelings that swing from moment to moment as the characters grasp to adjust to their new reality… Once upon a time they were wives, now they are widows.
Though the topic is widowhood, it is also about the great journey we undertake when we are cracked open by tragedy, broken apart by circumstances, and then must somehow find our way forward.
It is also an honoring: of how deeply we can love, how deeply we will mourn, and yet somehow, still rise to meet another day.
With “Widows Anonymous” my great hope is that we will allow ourselves to be cracked open to feel, revel, commune in the glorious, terrifying, exhilarating thing that is the human experience. And when the lights go dark, and we leave the theater, that we will feel a little more connected, a little more grateful … for the life we have been given, and for the ones we have loved.
“You are invited to join us on this journey. For a little while, walk with us, dance with us, weep with us, laugh with us, it’s ok to laugh with us, as we step big and small towards an ever-shifting future. We ask that you judge not too harshly to what is shared, confessed, purged, in these fires of grief. For it is a hard journey, a lonely journey, to the other side, and none of us escapes unscathed.
Once upon a time we were wives. Now we are widows.”
“In their great generosity, the hospital where my husband died, on their operating table, during what was supposed to be a simple procedure, in their great generosity, they gave me free parking. I kid you not, like it was some great gift. “Ma’am,” In all seriousness, “Ma’am, we’d like to validate your parking.” How about you validating my husband? Validate my fucking husband. (sorry) I’m sure they meant well.”
“Even as I cry, there is a part of me that realizes I can do whatever I want to now. I could paint my room red if I want to. Cut down that god-awful bush if I want to. Sleep in peace without his snoring. In the beginning, the steps are small. I throw away an old blanket I always hated. Then I painted our, my, bedroom. Then I pulled up all that grass he used to mow every weekend and plant it with flowers. Then I fire the accountant and got someone new. Someone who looks at me, not my tits when I talk, at tax time.”
Marianne’s show is grace and truth in motion. You can’t take your eyes off her because she’s just that honest and pure on the stage. The show is moving and raw as expected AND there there are beautiful moments of laughter, hope, and sweet joy that come forward as each character speaks her truth and expresses her innermost life. I cried with the characters, giggled with some of them, cheered, and most of all I felt such reverence for the human journey. This is why I go to the theater- to feel it all. And Marianne’s soul has a way of touching every corner of the heart. I’m so grateful I got to experience this piece. Bravo!!!
This was a wonderfully moving and profoundly courageous show that will linger for a long time after. I was so moved by Marianne’ deeply human and intimate portrayal of the different aspects of grief; of the messiness, the absurdity (and hidden humour), the unpredictability, the loneliness- reminding us how so much of it remains unspoken in our society. I cried and belly-laughed and left deeply moved.
Unlike other shows I have seen on the topic, this one was searingly truthful and without clichés, but with observed moments that even those not in the Club would recognize as utterly genuine. Those unexpected details drive the show with a vibrant performance breathing life and urgency to the human need to not simply survive but to regenerate.
Marianne is a mesmerizing and powerful performer. She fully embodies her characters and goes deep, taking us on a journey. Her wit, lyrical skill, and vulnerability keep me on the edge of my seat, watching her every move, wanting more.
Marianne is an exhilarating performer. Equal parts vulnerable, masterful and graceful – with hints of humor peppered throughout – her performance was gripping. Her subject matter important. A must-watch for all!