Review: Reborning at Big Idea Theatre


Are you my mother?

Are you my mother?

Photo courtesy of Yarcenia Garcia

Showtimes: Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm. Through 4/6; $12-$18; Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard, (916) 960-3036;
Rated 5.0

Daizy, Kelly and Emily are three unlikely comrades.

Daizy (Anthony Person) uses his art-school education to craft adult sex toys. Kelly (Taylor Fleer), his live-in girlfriend, puts her artistic skills to use creating super-realistic dolls for grownups. Emily (Laura Kaya) is a mother whose child died in infancy many years ago, and now she seeks a “reborn” replica.

From there, it grows more strange and more creepy. It also becomes so fascinating you have to know how—or if—it can end.

Apparently, “reborning” is a real thing—women who have lost a child will sometimes seek out the option of commissioning a life-like replica to replace their loved one, and maybe even restore some damaged sense of their own motherhood. Playwright Zayd Dohrn takes this already disturbing trend to new depths of desire, distress and despair.

As customer Emily becomes more demanding about the look of her “child,” Kelly becomes convinced she is sculpting her own likeness. Could Emily be the abusive mother who abandoned her? How could any of this be?

Russell Dow directs a trio of excellent actors—particularly Fleer, who becomes a real train wreck—through this roller coaster of emotions.