The Human Race Theatre Company of Dayton, Ohio gave The Miami Valley a splendid Mother’s Day gift for the past several weeks celebrating motherhood and humanity through the work of local author and humorist, Erma Bombeck.
AT WIT’S END, directed by Heather Powell, was a humorous home run with a season’s championship of heart.
I personally celebrated my own parenthood.
I personally celebrated being a human being.
Throughout the one-woman play recounting Ms. Bombeck’s daily life and rise to the top of the over-filled laundry basket of life, I kept thinking of the former Bombeck home on Cushwa Drive in Centerville, Ohio. How lucky we Daytonians are to claim Erma Bombeck as one of us!
I’ve aimed the spotlight at Erma Bombeck in several blogs and social media posts, so today, I am spotlighting actress Jennifer Joplin who brought to life an international icon and my own personal inspiration.
Ms. Joplin owned the stage. It felt like Erma was in the room, right there in front of me. It would not have surprised me if Ms. Bombeck was actually hanging around, admiring the smiles and laughter as her words were brought back to life through Jennifer’s work.
I figured I’d not witnessed this actress’ work prior to AT WIT’S END, however, I discovered I’d fallen in love with her work through a previous Human Race Theatre production, ON GOLDEN POND, in which she portrayed Chelsea. With further reading, I guess I’ve been watching Ms. Joplin on stage since her Wright State University days since the early 1990s.
“One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child’s name and how old he or she is. “Erma Bombeck
The hour-long production could have gone on for several more hours as I sat with beloved college friends, Linda and Dave Lewis. Before the show began the three of us reminisced meeting at Ball State University’s marching band camp, July 1983.
THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO!
Erma, through Jennifer’s stellar portrayal, took the three of us right through birth, grade school, college and the start of our music careers. Erma Bombeck, with her columns and later, her books, had been with us from the start.
The great thing is: Erma Bombeck is still with us, today, and her words are relevant, timeless.
Thank you, Jennifer! Thank you, Heather! It was a wonderful Mother’s Gift for this single dad of five sons!