J. A. Di Bello’s Review of Cry It Out

October 4, 2019

Shadowland Stages


     Cry It Out, a play by Molly Smith Metzler, is a startling, frequently comic yet heroic saga of motherhood. It shimmers with a naked truth, reflecting the realities of love, life and the unanticipated impact society has on each. As a home-grown account, Cry It Out’s dialogue and literary complications toll loud and clear with reverberating tones of an experiential narrative. Molly Smith Metzler’s timely drama surrounds an appropriately anxious Shadowland audience with pertinent thoughts about life’s oldest, most cherished occupation: Motherhood.

It’s the dialogue and the impact of contrasting situational implications that effectively carry Molly’s message across the footlights. Not an easy task, but Friday night’s audience was snickering, giggling, and then laughing until startled into submission by the necessity of a deep gasp!

Brendan Burke, in one of his numerous roles, is the Director of Molly Smith Metzler’s “Cry It Out.” Simply said, his selection of actors for this high impact show is “right on.” And for this drama, that’s a tall order. Molly, a native of Kingston, with appropriate pizzazz and theatrical characterization vividly brings these issues to the stage at Ellenville’s Shadowland.

To achieve the dramatic significance of the above requires more than a handful of scripts from Dramatic Publishing and a state-of-the-art lightboard.

To begin, the evening’s two principal characters are Jessie and Lina, two young, first-time mothers, each tethered to a baby monitor and each overwhelmed and bewildered by their common predicament: The life and welfare of a precious infant is suddenly their sole responsibility!

Emerging stage left from her cleverly designed dwelling is Jessie, vividly portrayed by Carolyn Holding, an exceptionally talented young actress, who is convincing and in-synch with Jessie’s emotional variations, i.e., challenging mood swings. Impressive and worth mentioning here, Carolyn is a Harvard grad as well as a graduate for NYU’s Tisch. Brava! Not just incidentally, an exceptionally functional and attractive set by scenic designer Jonathan Wentz, facilitated the interaction of this evening’s players,

And as we speak of emotion, Jessie’s slightly hyper and commiserating partner in the evening’s confrontations is Lina. Cassandra Dupler, as Lina, is a gem! She comfortably delivers her character’s full, unrestrained rage up-close and personal, holding the stage effectively and efficiently. The power of her delivery, however, could be increased if she could resist throwing lines into the wings, stage left.

The inexperienced moms, overburdened with the weight of reality, find salvation (aka small group therapy) in their diminutive and exclusive backyard coffee klatch. It’s their salvation, until that is, the sanctity of their cloistered meetings are discovered. It seems a neighboring husband-wife team has observed their meeting. The intrusion of the neighbors dramatically complicates the issues, moving the “plot” to explore the consequences of class, social standing and education on a likable pair of unprepared mothers.

The intervening couple is brilliant, especially Adrienne, as played by an essential and capable Amanda Ferguson. Her ability to hold the stage creating an appropriated level of anxiety during some crucial moments is inspiring. Further, her counterpart husband, Mitchell, is brought to the stage by a believable Brett Owen. His character, as husband, is at times a little blunt and obtuse, difficult and perhaps elusive, Brett handles these scenes well with credibility.

Cry it Out will continue it run at Shadowland Stages through October 20th. They’ll be lined up for this one. Additional information is available at 845.647.5511or online at



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