The Designated Daughter

by Rick on September 7, 2019

My mother in law, Marie, lived with us in our house for the last nine months of her life. It was a profound experience. It seems she needed to have a lot of conversations with her daughter, Victoria, before she died, but sometimes I was the audience. We both liked coffee, William Sonoma chocolate croissants and getting up early.

One of our breakfast conversations went like this:

Marie: “Oh, it’s so frustrating. I can’t remember anything.”
“That’s not true. You have a good memory,” I replied.
“No, I have Alzheimer’s. I can’t remember anything.”
“Okay, I’m going to give you a quiz.”

At the end of six questions I asked, “Okay, how did you do on your quiz?”
“I got them all right?”
“Yes. You got 100% on your quiz. I don’t want to hear any more about how you can’t remember anything.” She laughed, and we talked about the musical comedy we had watched on TV the night before. (We all do better when we aren’t being treated as if we have a disease.)

It wasn’t all fun, of course. Marie was on hospice. She was in the last few months of her life, and Victoria bore the brunt of the pain, sorrow…the full range of emotions, as you can imagine.

Marie died in June of 2016, and Victoria wrote a play about the experience. She performed it in Chicago a year later to a packed house and a standing ovation. Then, she performed it again in San Francisco last November to another packed house and even more applause.

And now, looks like she’s “going to Broadway.” She will be performing “The Designated Daughter” in Chicago again this month (September 27, 28, 29), then New York on October 2nd, and then back in San Francisco for six more shows. Here’s the article in Broadway World.

It’s a great play. Don’t miss it. Get your tickets for Chicago here, your tickets for New York here, and your tickets to one of the San Francisco shows here.

Hope to see you at one of the shows.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Susan Porter September 7, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Yes! It IS a wonderful play. I still think about it in detail from time to time a year after seeing it. Victoria has managed, with grace and humor, to capture a part of life we all experience. No matter what the specifics of your situation, you will identify with this play.

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