Backstage Drama at “Mormons, Mothers and Monsters” Almost Derails Show [Berkshire on Stage]

July 25th, 2011, 1:15 pm by Sara
Christianne Tisdale

Christianne Tisdale

When the new musical Mormons, Mothers and Monsters had its opening Wednesday night at Barrington’s Stage 2, few people – even in the cast – knew that the “Mother” of the show, Jill Abramovitz was pushing through a serious throat infection as she gamely sang her part. And that actor Christianne Tisdale would soon replace her.

And it is no small role, it demands a lot of a performer. At first Abramovitz had casually mentioned that her voice was a bit sore, but everyone chalked it up to the demands of the intensive rehearsals that precede a show’s opening. Every performer stretches their normal comfort level to meet the demands of being ready.

As a critic, I noticed, with pleasure, how rich Abramovitz’s voice sounded, and described her portrayal of the mother as fitting her like a glove. But the next day the performer was continuing her unsuccessful attempts to get to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist) to see what was wrong.

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