Moments of Joy
Presented by the Company Company
Feb. 12, 8 p.m.
Feb. 14, 5 p.m., 8 p.m.
Feb. 15, 3 p.m.
Circular Congregational Church
150 Meeting St.
The double entendre in the title of the show somehow says it all.
Yes, the stories and songs shared by Joy Vandervort Cobb are indeed moments of Joy, i.e., pivotal events from her own life, but they are moments of joy in general, the stuff that we all experience in one form or another.
The sweet summer storm we call childhood, those first stumbling attempts to break out on our own is anything but straightforward: There's joy in all of that, if you know where to look.
And then finding yourself in the middle of the storm all over again when it comes time to raise your own children — that's a defining moment in life, especially in the realization of how little can be done to steer the storm one way or another. The best any of us can do is ride it out as well as the lessons we've learned in life allow us to, and accept that that's okay.
There's a great deal in Moments of Joy about acceptance and forgiveness, especially about forgiving yourself, as well as song, slapstick, and some stories that will have you laughing so hard that you'll have a hard time staying in your seat. There are universal moments and moments of particular note to artists, writers, and performers. The opening of the show is pinned on the struggle — well-known to all who dabble in autobiography — between telling the truth and softening some of it so feathers won't be ruffled.
A rousing rendition of the classic Maya Angelou poem "Phenomenal Woman" in song is one of the highlights of the show, reinforcing the overarching theme of coming to love and accepting the self.
An associate professor of African American Theatre and Performance at College of Charleston, Joy Vandervort Cobb has lived, loved, and laughed her way from Brooklyn to Southern California and back again. She tells the tale of all that and more in this one-woman cabaret directed by Maida Libkin.
Moments of Joy is worth seeing for Vandervort Cobb's story alone, but don't be surprised if you see bits of your own story on stage as well. Don't be surprised to see your own friends, your own family, and your own life, in much of what she shares, no matter who you may be.
That's the real magic of it.