The love-hate relationship between a mother and daughter is the subject of Ellen Snortland's fantastic one-woman show "Now That She's Gone," at the Missing Piece Theater in Burbank.
Although Snortland is rough on her mom, it's obvious there's more love than hate, and Snortland is at her best when she highlights some of the funnier moments of her awkward youth. But above all, her play is a heartwarming memoir of Snortland's hectic journey from a small-town Norwegian-American girl who "talked too much," to a successful author, playwright and actress.
The setting is a cluttered assisted living apartment as Ellen packs up the rest of her mother's belongings, one of which is an authentic Norwegian dress her mother sewed by hand.
"You know how a dress is handmade," Ellen deadpans in her mother's thick Norwegian brogue. "Look for the blood from the needlepoint."
As much criticism as Ellen gave her mother for being wound too tightly, she did have a dry wit that elicited some huge laughs. Another favorite was her mother's thoughts on the story of Adam and Eve, both of whom were Norwegian, at least in her mind. As Ellen tells it, her mother often said, "Only a Norwegian man could stand next to a stark naked woman and want the apple!"