Home Stage Mother

Stage Mother (15)

Cast: Jacki Weaver, Lucy Liu, Adrian Grenier
Genre: Comedy
Author(s): Brad Hennig
Director: Thom Fitzgerald
Release Date: 31/07/2020 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 93mins
Country: Can
Year: 2020

Conservative church choir director Maybelline Metcalf learns her only son Ricky has died from a drug overdose. She leaves behind her disapproving husband Jeb in Texas to travel to San Francisco to say farewell. Maybelline discovers that she is heir to her son's business, an ailing drag club called Pandora's Box co-run by Ricky's boyfriend Nathan. Rather than sell the business, Maybelline employs her skills as a choir director to revitalise the stage performances.


LondonNet Film Review
Stage Mother (15)

Motherhood comes in many forms in Thom Fitzgerald’s fish out of water comedy, which transplants a Southern Baptist wife from the heartlands of Texas to the mascara-ed melting pot of present-day California. Screenwriter Brad Hennig gleefully dips into the wig boxes of La Cage Aux Folles, The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert and Kinky Boots to use the art of drag performance as a lesson plan for tolerance, empathy and dogged determination…

Two-time Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver adds another feisty yet lovable matriarch to her repertoire, essaying a quietly spoken woman of God, who draws parallels between the women in her local church choir and the volatile egos clamouring for adulation at her late son’s drag bar. “Different songs, same divas, some of the same wigs too,” she quips, establishing a brisk tempo for one-liners that co-stars are happy to mimic. Lucy Liu relishes an amply proportioned supporting role as a single mother, who hides behind her waspish wit, while veteran New York cabaret star Jackie Beat relishes her moments in the spotlight as the drag club’s potty-mouthed emcee.

Maybelline Metcalf (Weaver) is a conservative choir mistress in the Texan town of Red Vine (population 1,501), who has been estranged for 10 years from her gay son Ricky. She learns that her boy died from a drug overdose and leaves behind her disapproving husband Jeb (Hugh Thompson) to ensure Ricky is “put to rest properly” in San Francisco. After a flamboyant memorial service, Maybelline discovers that she is the reluctant heir to her son’s business, Pandora’s Box, a floundering club hosted by Dusty Muffin (Jackie Beat), which was once the pride and joy of Ricky and his boyfriend Nathan (Adrian Grenier). “He never stopped loving you either, even when I begged him to,” a grief-stricken Nathan informs Maybelline.

Defying expectations, the Texan transplant employs her skills as a musical director to encourage resident drag queens Cherry Poppins (Mya Taylor), Joan of Arkansas (Allister MacDonald) and Tequila Mockingbird (Oscar Moreno) to sing live rather than lip-sync. Aided by Ricky’s sassy best friend Sienna (Liu), Maybelline rediscovers her lust for life through her son’s sequin- and rhinestone-bedazzled legacy. She also opens her husband’s eyes to compassion beneath fluttering rainbow flags.

Stage Mother works its crowd-pleasing charms in broad strokes, bookmarked by well-choreographed musical numbers and a winning performance from Weaver. A romantic subplot involving a chivalrous San Francisco concierge (Anthony Skordi) isn’t entirely necessary but oils the wheels of a linear plot. Fitzgerald applies just enough glitter to the film’s most touching moments, like Maybelline’s intervention with one of the drag sisters, to shepherd his picture to its unapologetically final chorus.

– Kim Hu


London Cinemas Showing Stage Mother

From: Friday 7th August
To: Thursday 13th August

Everyman Chelsea

Sun/Tue 18:00

Vue Islington

Fri-Sun 15:30 19:15 (Sat/Sun); Mon-Thu 16:35 19:00

Vue Westfield London

Fri-Mon 16:35 19:20

From: Friday 14th August
To: Thursday 20th August

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UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Stage Mother

From: Friday 7th August
To: Thursday 13th August


Fri-Sun/Thu 19:30

City Screen Picturehouse

Sat 15:45; Sun 12:15; Mon 16:15; Tue 19:50; Thu 14:50

Everyman Chelmsford

Fri 16:30; Wed 17:00

Odeon Bournemouth BH2

Fri/Sun/Tue 17:15

Odeon Dunfermline

Fri-Sun 18:30

Odeon Luxe Durham

Sat/Sun 17:15

Odeon Luxe Glasgow Springfield Quay

Sat/Wed 19:00; Sun 18:15

Odeon Luxe Hull

Fri 17:00; Sat/Sun 18:30

Odeon Luxe Tamworth

Fri 18:30; Sat/Sun 18:45

Odeon Silverlink

Sat/Sun/Wed/Thu 19:00

Parkway Cinema

Sat 16:50; Sun 17:55; Wed 20:15

Vue Bromley

Fri-Sun 14:40 18:25 (Fri); Mon 16:20 19:00; Tue/Thu 16:20 18:45; Wed 16:20 18:55

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Fri-Sun 15:30 19:15; Mon/Tue/Thu 16:35 19:10; Wed 16:35 19:05

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Fri-Sun 14:40 18:15; Mon-Wed 16:20 18:55; Thu 16:20 19:00

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Fri-Sun 15:30 19:15; Mon-Thu 16:35 19:45

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Sat/Sun 15:40 19:15; Mon-Thu 16:35 19:05

Vue Farnborough

Fri 14:45 18:15; Sat 14:40 18:30; Sun 14:40 18:15; Mon-Thu 16:20 18:55

Vue Manchester Lowry

Fri-Sun 14:40 (Sun) 18:15; Mon/Wed/Thu 16:20 18:45; Tue 16:20 18:50

Vue Oxford

Fri-Sun 14:40 18:15; Mon 16:15 18:55; Tue-Thu 16:20 18:55

From: Friday 14th August
To: Thursday 20th August

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