Mother/Son, part of the Homotopia festival, is a semi-autobiographical account of a young Jewish man’s coming out and how it effects his relationship with his beloved mother. Set in the early 1990s, New Yorker Solomon plays both parts, as they communicate through phone calls or converse with other, invisible characters while waiting for the other to show up.
Mindy is a traditional Long Island Jewish housewife with a nice dollop of sitcom cliché as us Brits would know it – always pestering, wanting son Bradley to meet a nice girl and give her grandchildren, phoning in the middle of the night to say she’s ordered him useless items from the home shopping network. On the other side of the States, having moved to LA to write for a TV show, Bradley is finding himself and overcoming his own personal “shame” of coming out and forming new relationships.
Solomon keeps his set and costume sparse, dressed in black jeans and a sweater for the duration. He plays neither role for the camp factor, only sometimes picking up a handbag to denote the character of Mindy. And he seemed to really hit the nail on the head with a lot of his experiences, drawing lots of laughs of recognition from the largely gay audience.
So nearly 20 years on from the original events, the journey his characters go through is nothing new. Yet his portrayal is so full of tenderness and care it is impossible not to be moved by the story he tells. It’s Solomon’s thoughtful and loving portrayal of family ties that make Mother/ Son so eminently watchable.