"Don't Go in the Lion's Cage Tonight, Mother Darling" is a revue filtered through the unique feminist perspective of the Pro Femina Theatre. The result is a selection of music-hall songs dating from the turn of the century, tied together with a murky theme.
The songs are delightful, and could have provided the backbone for a tuneful look at Women Then portrayed by Women Now. "Always Take Mother's Advice" and "My Mother's Old Shawl," for example, illustrate the sentimental pedestal on which mom sat, and the fate of the "fallen" woman is aptly described in "She's More to Be Pitied Than Censured" and "She May Have Seen Better Days."
The title song is a charming ditty revived on a record of English music-hall songs by Julie Andrews. It tells of a woman brave enough to tame lions who unfortunately got her head bitten off one night. Cautionary, no doubt.
Two of the three performers, Leslie Bravman Jacobsen and Sarah Pleydell Walton, are clearly actresses rather than singers, although their energy generally compensates for a lack of melodiousness. The third cast member, Sarah Anders, is more musical, and all three are aided by Jeffrey Wentz's acommpaniment on the piano. The problem is really the diffident structure, which throws out ideas--such as no one wanting to play the male characters, and the effect of repressed sexuality--without developing them.
"DON'T GO IN THE LION'S CAGE TONIGHT, MOTHER DARLING," at the YWCA this weekend and next.