Arts/Entertainment

Belly Laughs

From pregnancy and poopy diapers to playgroups and post-natal sex, “MotherFreakingHood!” explores it all in a hilarious, heartwarming show, premiering in Kansas City.

Story by Kalsey McCall

Playwrights Julie Dunlap and Sara Stotts pay homage to life’s most rewarding, frustrating and unpredictable experiences through their quirky musical comedy, “MotherFreakingHood!,” debuting in Kansas City May 29 and running through June 14 at Avila University’s Goppert Theatre.

“This is a lovely, exhausting world that we have created as mothers, and it should be celebrated,” Dunlap says.

And celebrate they do, as Dunlap and Stotts have penned 19 hilariously witty, tongue-in-cheek, relatable musical numbers which find the dry wit and humor in motherhood’s most poignant moments as well as the mind-numbingly mundane.

With songs such as “Go Mom,”  “Prom Night” (a Dunlap favorite), and “Marital Debt,” audiences will be left in stitches while reflecting on the over-arching realities that all mothers face.

Produced by Moonshine Variety Co. and featuring a Kansas City cast directed by Heidi Van, “MotherFreakingHood!” highlights iconic moments of the first 18 years of parenting through laughter and music while following three quirky, honest and undeniably loveable mothers from the births of their babies through high school graduation.

From the initial “pee on a stick” moment in the show’s opening to PTA politics, periods and proms, swooning first-time mom Rachael, methodical type-A Angie and veteran mom of four Marcia navigate the ups and downs of motherhood with a healthy dose of humor strengthened by the unbreakable bonds of friendship—a bond with which Dunlap and Stotts, who met at the University of Kansas in the early 1990s, are well-acquainted. The duo became fast friends, roommates (for two of their most drunken years) and co-writers of music and scripts for the campus variety show Rock Chalk Revue.

“After we graduated and our livers recovered, our lives led us to different cities,” laughs Dunlap, who landed in her hometown of Kansas City and eventually back to Lawrence, where she now resides with her husband, David, and four children. For years now, Dunlap has penned a popular weekly humor column for the Lawrence Journal-World and a quarterly humor column for Lawrence Kids Magazine.

Stotts, also a KC native, found herself living in Chicago and working as a physical therapist as she started her family (two children and a husband) and kept in touch with Dunlap at every chance. But it wasn’t until Stott’s 40th birthday party in 2011 that the two found a muse within the erratic world of motherhood and began work on “MotherFreakingHood!,” which they honed for more than two years before presenting it to a live audience.

Now, as Dunlap and Stotts prepare to unleash their further revised and enhanced script to Kansas City audiences, they are more excited than ever before.

“My hope is that this show gives women a sense of camaraderie,” Dunlap says. “In this Pinterest-obsessed, Instagram-y world, it’s important that women not feel alone and not feel inadequate. Every mom’s hair falls out after we give birth, we all pee when we laugh and we are all in this together.” l

For ticket information, visit moonshinevariety.co, or for more information on “MotherFreakingHood!,” visit motherfreakinghood.com.