Precious Little has been described as a play about a pregnant 42-year-old lesbian, who has, until now, put her career ahead of her desire to have a family.
...I hate that description. It assumes that a woman who is pregnant after 40 must explain herself. Indeed, the protagonist, Brodie (played by Sara Andrina Brown), spends a lot of time explaining herself. In the genetic counselling office, she clarifies that, as a lesbian, she used a donor, and that, yes, she is aware of the risks for a woman her age. Both age and communication are themes that intertwine. The three women actors are themselves different ages, with varying backgrounds and experiences, playing characters who span generations. Brodie, a linguist, is having an affair with a younger grad student, while studying the lost language of an older immigrant woman. Amidst all this, Brodie forms a profound connection with a gorilla at the zoo.
Precious Little forces us to confront the ways we use language to belittle, to patronize and to disguise what we mean. Brodie, as a character, is utterly unlikeable (a testament to skillful writing, directing and acting). She is callous and unkind to her young lover, and uses her academic status as a weapon or shield. But her armour is also her humanity.
Precious Little is a strange play that asks tough questions about the world. In the end, we don’t necessarily have the answers. But we might be a little closer to understanding one another.
~ reviewed by Reija Jean Roberts
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