Amber McDonald Good, Zoe Hawkins Wells, and Erin McKenna (along with Michael Castellano, not shown) star in ‘Cry It Out,’ playing at the Red Barn Theatre in Key West through May 7.” LARRY BLACKBURN/Contributed

The ladies bring down the house in “Cry It Out,” now playing at the Red Barn Theatre. With an immensely talented cast and director, and a well-written, insightful script, “Cry it Out” hits the entertainment mark. Written by Molly Smith Metzler, known for TV’s “Shameless” and “Orange is the New Black,” the play weaves three stories about new mothers and the emotional obstacles that inevitably get in the way. For any person who remembers the first stages of parenthood, the play mirrors the wickedly funny and heart-wrenching time with dead-on clarity.

From the get-go, Erin McKenna light ups the stage as Lina, the Long Island-accented, lower-class new mom, a mother bear in gold hoops and acrylic nails. Lina feels “held hostage in her dirty yoga pants” and laughs, “You’d think I was going to prom getting ready for Stop N’ Shop.” It’s the one outing a day to the store when Lina befriends Jessie, played by a delightful Zoe Hawkins Wells, her neighbor, the sweet, pearl-laden upper-class mom on furlough from a high-power lawyer job. The two hit it off and bond over nap time, babies, relationships and coffee, regardless of their class differences. They help each other through the loneliness, boredom and insecurities of having new babies. They both agree their old lives are gone. “I used to collect lip gloss,” said Jessie. “Now I don’t care any more.”

Mitchell, played by talented Michael Castellano, shakes up their routine when he tries to get his wife to join the group, with an ironic introduction, “Don’t take her personally.” Worried that his wife, Adrienne, played by an outstanding Amber McDonald Good, isn’t connecting with their child, he places his hopes on Lina and Jessie to fix his marriage and their situation.

What comes about is an honest look at women and their roles as mothers, wives and career women. Adrienne delivers such a gut-wrenching, superb speech about the irony of motherhood at the end that it is the ultimate portrait of the 21st century mother.

Director Joy Hawkins deserves a standing ovation for outstanding direction as well. For more information, go to

“Cry It Out”
April 18 – May 7

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