STORY WRITTEN BY RITA CHARLESTON
For Digital First Media
As an addition to its 40th anniversary season lineup, People’s Light presents singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke in her one-woman show “My Mother Has 4 Noses” through June 28.
In the show, Brooke shares her experiences caring for her eccentric and ailing mother. “My mother was a published poet, a clown, a Christian Scientist, an avid camper and a great mom. And she had Alzheimer’s. She also had four noses. That is not a metaphor but something very real. But I want to keep it a surprise for the audience.”
In this touching mother-daughter love story, Brooke weaves 10 new songs through stories recounting their final two years together. Brooke has been writing songs, making records and touring since her early days in Boston with her band, The Story.
Graduating from the Commonwealth School in Boston, Brooke moved on to attend Amherst College where The Story was born. “I originally set out to be a dancer,” she says. “But I studied English and when I was about 28 years old I got a record deal, so that kind of made decision for me as to what I would do in life.”
In the mid-’90s, Brooke left the band to pursue a solo career. Successfully making music and records, in 2010 her life took another turn “That’s when I moved my mother to New York to take care of her. She was in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s and I had no idea what I was getting into. But there was no question that I would be there for her.”
Brooke insists her mother was a character.”In fact, I always thanked her on stage for all the good material. Ironically, in her last two years, she took it to a whole new level. Almost every day she would ask me if I was getting it all on paper, thinking some day we could make it into a play and take it to Broadway!”
Acknowledging that their life together was quite an adventure, Brooke’s real life was put on the back burner, and her career all but halted. “But our very vivid, very real life together, was, at times, great theater.”
According to Brooke, at its very heart, the show is a love story, with all the attendant comedy and tragedy. “I only regret that mom couldn’t have seen it. After all, how many people do you know who can say they have four noses?”