Monday, February 16, 2015

Mothers and Sons: How long does anger last?

Michael Learned, Hugh Kennedy, Jacob Wilner, and James Lloyd Reynolds
Photo Credit: Mark Garvin
Homosexuality was not only forbidden it was dangerous. How long does it take for those wounds to heal?

Mothers and Sons. By Terrence McNally; Wendy C. Goldberg directed. Philadelphia Theatre Company production through March 8, 2015 at Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St. (at Lombard), Philadelphia. 215-985-0420 or

Drama shows us both our better and worse selves. Sometimes it shows us how heroic we might be, imagining ourselves as superheroes who can save the world. Sometime, as in several recent works, it shows us how dreadfully we have behaved in the not too distant past. Selma reminds us how we treated blacks in this country, The Imitation Game and Oscar remind us of how we have treated homosexuals.

Watching these semi-historical stories I am amazed at the progress we have made and yet how those same prejudices are still with us. We still have segregation; we still struggle with homosexuality, although now the discussion, in this country at least, focuses on gay marriage, while in other places, such as Russia, it’s still a crime to be gay; we still don’t have gender equality; in Europe anti-Semitism has re-emerged. And now we have someone new to hate, the Muslim population is something to be feared and demonized.