It’s never too early to honor Mom. And those who want to jumpstart Mother’s Day festivities may begin with the Chicago streaming premiere of “Call Me Elizabeth” (through April 30). Presented by Porchlight Music Theatre with KB Productions, the 70-minute drama follows the early life of Elizabeth Taylor.
Under the direction of Erin Kraft, Kayla Boye (who wrote the one-woman show) portrays the legendary movie star during a period of highs (she just won a Best Actress Oscar for “Butterfield 8”) and lows (she had a near-death experience). Because Taylor worked to fight HIV/AIDS, a portion of the ticket sales ($25 per household) will benefit Howard Brown Health and Brave Space Alliance.
The world premiere of “A Portrait of My Mother” opens on May 9. Written and performed by Carlo Lorenzo Garcia, the autobiographical tribute details the trials and tribulations of one woman’s journey into motherhood. Advance tickets ($5) are currently available at Jarrott Productions.
E. Faye Butler directs the virtual world premiere of Lauren Ferebee’s award-winning play “Goods” (May 5-30). The sci-fi adventure follows two intergalactic female trash collectors played by Julie Proudfoot and Shariba Rivers. Visit Artemisia Theatre for tickets ($30) to the play and to subscribe to the company’s feminist podcast “We Women.”
Executive producer Joaquin Phoenix and Neon invite Chicagoans to experience life from a mother pig’s perspective in “Gunda” — filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky’s critically-acclaimed documentary. Shot over the course of six months in black-and-white and without dialogue, the 93-minute movie gently depicts sentience within a family of pigs as well a herd of cows and a one-legged chicken. The G-rated film opens theatrically at the Music Box Theatre and virtually on Music Box Direct. Click here for tickets ($8-$12) and more information.
If moved by the movie, human families can sponsor a pig named Mia and her piglets for Mother’s Day. As a former breeding sow, Mia lost her past offspring to slaughter. But now that she’s been rescued and resides at Farm Sanctuary, she will watch her new batch of babies (Woody, Wayne, Crawford, Helena, and Iman) grow up. Those who virtually adopt Mia and her family will receive a digital certificate and a sense of maternal pride. Click here to ensure Mia and her piglets live a nice life together.
The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival is providing Pop-Up Puppet Grams ($75) designed for moms. Thoughtful friends and family members may choose to send a Garden Party, Doorstep Marionette, or A Western Lonely Goatherd themed delivery.
Thanks to the Driehaus Museum, actress, author and scholar Leslie Goddard, Ph.D. will detail the history and etiquette of high tea at 3 p.m. on Mother’s Day Weekend. Participants are encouraged to prepare their own kettle and snacks as they learn about Edwardian tea traditions via Zoom. Tickets ($10-15) for the virtual program are available to view through May 18.
Top image: Ms. Taylor (Kayla Boye) examines her life, loves and career in “Call Me Elizabeth” courtesy of Porchlight Music Theatre and KB Productions. Photo by Kàchí Mozie.
Middle image: Gunda and one of her piglets in “Gunda” courtesy of Neon ©2020.