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Review: Middle-Age Madness at Berkeley Rep



Photo by Ben Horak

Longtime NPR personality and best-selling memoirist, Sandra Tsing Loh has brought her hilarious 2014 comedy, The Madwoman in a Volvo, to Berkeley Rep Theater. The show just might be this year’s best holiday gift especially if you, or anyone you know, is suffering from one of the three M's — motherhood, middle-age or menopause. And judging by the chortles of men in the crowd on opening night last Friday, this comedy-romp of one woman's journey from marriage burn out to Burning Man might be just as funny if you’re male.

With co-actors, Caroline Aaron and Shannon Holt, who play a multitude of roles including Loh’s own pre-teen daughters, her therapist, ex-husband and lover, Loh recounts life’s challenges — from parenthood to paying the bills — in a way that makes viewers feel as if someone has finally said it the way it is.

"On Facebook, so many people appear to have perfect marriages and perfect families," laughs Loh, a SoCal mom who is as funny and real in person as she is in her written work. “But that’s such a smokescreen. It’s just not true! We all have problems! This play is all about that.”

If you’ve already read Loh’s 2014 memoir, you will not be disappointed in the theatrical rendering of The Madwoman in the Volvo. Director Lisa Peterson and Loh have brought new stories to the stage including the always controversial question: ‘How do you tell your partner you’ve had an affair?’

The answer is hilarious. Don’t miss it.


The Madwoman in a Volvo runs through January 15. berkeleyrep.org