For many of us, the relationship we have with our mother is the most important and significant relationship of our lives. It influences how we view ourselves as women, nurturers and care givers. Through our mothers we learn how a woman is supposed to act. Our place in the world, is in part designed, by the examples our mother shows us. As a mother to two little girls I am aware (sometimes overly aware) of how what I do or say will influence them.
Earlier this week I attended a private screening of the play In Defense of Glitter and Rainbows written by V. True Rodriguez. The play, whose theme centers on inter-generational relationships explores the intricate bond between mothers and daughters, and how family secrets can have long lasting consequences from generation to generation. It is a story I connected with immediately. From the moment Monica Rodriguez, played by actress Liza M. Galleti, spoke her first line I was vested in her story.
We learn from early on that Monica’s life is in shambles. A woman who wants for nothing and seemingly has the picture perfect life, is alone and lonely despite being married to her high school sweetheart Papi, played by Roberto Vassilarakis. Monica longs for the intimacy and connection one expects to have in a marriage. Instead, we watch her come to terms with her place in her husband, Papi’s, life. Though he is visibly present he is absent in the ways that his wife and daughter Ivy need him to be. He believes as long as he provides for them that is enough and his inability to love them the way they need to be loved fuels the toxic cycle of tolerance and acceptance that their daughter Ivy falls into.
The story is riveting and centers on the Rodriguez family’s inability to break free from generational demons. It sheds light on the consequences of remaining in unhealthy relationships and how toxic masculinity as seen through the character Him, played by Luis Enrique III, can destroy an entire family. The story highlights the reverence we have for our ancestors and how even in death they do all they can to protect us.
In Defense of Glitter and Rainbows is a multi-layered testimony about family, healing, breaking cycles, but most importantly it’s about love. It’s about how the love we give and the way we show it, is often a result of the amount of love or lack thereof we have been given. The story provides the audience with the opportunity to reflect on ourselves and how, if at all, we repeat unhealthy patterns in our own lives and what we are willing to do to change it for future generations. It’s about the importance of telling our stories, the lessons learned in life and death, and all that we are willing to do to protect our joy.
If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, why not? I encourage you to take the women and men in your life to see this show. You will be better off for it.
You can buy tickets at:
Liza Galletti as Mami
Roberto Vassilarakis as Papi
Jade Rain Vega as Ivy
Luis Enrique III as "Him"
Jeannie Sol as Abuela
Toni Benedict as Iris
Written & Produced by True Rodriguez
Directed by Andres Chulisi Rodriguez
Michael Zayas, Stage Manager
Reanna Comstock, Choreographer
Stephen J. Cucci, Costume Designer
Ellie Parris, Set Design