THEATER REVIEW: “Mothers and Sons” @ Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]
Review by Roseann Cane
Photograph by Eloy Garcia
“There is nothing permanent except change.” – Heraclitus
As the lights come up we see two people, a mature woman wrapped in a mink and a handsome man on the outskirts of middle age, peering into the distance. They stand parallel, about a couple of yards apart, in a well-appointed New York apartment, but they are clearly making an effort to engage in polite small talk. Perhaps the man, Cal Porter (Bill Mootos) is trying a bit harder to entertain his guest, Katherine Gerard (Annette Miller), as he describes the sweeping view from their Central Park West window. He animatedly points out the reservoir, the Metropolitan Museum, the building where Jacqueline Onassis lived.
Occasionally he pauses to ask Katherine if he may take her coat (“I’m not staying”) or if she would like some refreshment (“I’m fine, thank you”). Her eyes never leave the view of Central Park, and we notice there is a profound sadness behind the pinched expression on her face. We notice that although Cal looks in her direction frequently as he continues chatting, Katherine continues to stare ahead for awhile. It takes her a bit of time to participate in the conversation.
Katherine’s son, Andre, who died from AIDS 20 years earlier, had been Cal’s partner. She has not seen Cal since Andre’s memorial service, and today’s visit was unexpected. She has been living in Texas and, we soon learn, her husband has recently died.