“My Mom is Trying to Ruin My Life – The Musical” on Vineyard stage

my-mom-cover-sm-w
DESIGNER: JESSICA SONKIN

On Monday, Aug. 6, The Vineyard Playhouse presents the first public reading and singing of “My Mom is Trying to Ruin My Life – The Musical.” The play is based on the children’s book by the same title, written by Kate Feiffer of Oak Bluffs. It is the story of a young girl who finds her well-meaning mother terribly embarrassing — why must she talk so loudly and kiss her in front of her friends? — and decides to take action before her Mom ruins her life.

In 2010, MJ Bruder Munafo, artistic director of The Vineyard Playhouse, adapted the book into a play and presented it in a workshop production. After seeing the play performed, both Ms. Feiffer and Ms. Munafo felt inspired to take the play to the next level and add music.

Ms. Munafo had recently worked with Paul Jacobs, an Emmy-award winning composer whose songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as Meatloaf, Mel Torme, Faith Hill, Roger Daltry, Kermit the Frog, Jon Hiatt, and the London Philharmonic. She called Mr. Jacobs and asked if he and his wife Sarah Durkee, his long-time writing partner and Emmy-award winning lyricist, would be interested in collaborating on this project. They said an enthusiastic “yes.”

Ms. Feiffer and Ms. Munafo spent the winter on the Vineyard working on the book for the musical while the New York-based Mr. Jacobs and Ms. Durkee wrote the songs.

“The entire process has been a great learning experience and a ton of fun,” Ms. Feiffer said. “The songs are absolutely fantastic. I can’t stop singing them.”

In Monday night’s reading of the play, Island favorite Shelagh Hackett will play and sing Mom and 11-year-old West Tisbury resident Katie Morse will play and sing Emma. Joining them will be Paul Munafo as Dad and adult actors Scott Barrow, Christopher Kann, Jill Macy, and Adam Petkus, along with child actors Belle Dinning, Kaya Seiman, Simone Davis, Sam Graber-Hahn, Danielle Hopkins, and others.

“My Mom is Trying to Ruin My Life – The Musical,” 7 pm, Monday, Aug. 6, M.V. Hebrew Center, Vineyard Haven. Hosted by The Vineyard Playhouse. $25; $15 children under 18. Talk-back session & refreshments follow. Tickets available in advance: 508-687-2452 or visit vineyardplayhouse.org. Tickets will be sold at the door on night of performance, if they are still available.