Your parents are probably to blame for a lot of what is wrong with you, but they also taught you to read and use a spoon. To paraphrase Hamlet, who had his own share of mommy issues, "Therein lies the rub."
It's this complicated relationship that we share with the people responsible for bringing us into the world that Ali Sylvester and Lee Lewis hope to examine as their two-person act Not Your Momma and Daddy.
"We start every set with the idea of taking our time. At the top of our show we ask an audience volunteer about a memorable conversation they have had with their parents. From there we explore an idea, relationship, or theme from that conversation in scenes that usually end up being connected in one way or another," says Sylvester. "Lee and I are not afraid of being real up there and letting the funny follow."
As two longtime company members at Theatre 99, Sylvester and Lewis decided to develop their improv duo four years ago. According to Sylvester, the improv act could look like scenes from a play, but regardless of what materializes on the stage, she remains proud of the work they both put forth.
While most people can recall at least one interesting, embarrassing, or downright bizarre exchange with their parents, the show also poses the opportunity to hear that someone else in the crowd has much more family trauma to unload than you do. For that reason alone, Not Your Momma and Daddy offers an affordable alternative to family therapy.
Equal parts theatric, funny, and sentimental, Sylvester says that each show can not only make you laugh, but also feel something deeper. It may also serve as a good reminder to give your mom a call.
"What can I say about NYMD?," Sylvester asks. "I know every time I walk off stage I want to keep playing in that world."