POST: 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Of New York City' - the same tragic problem

What's it about?

A play that focuses on two different generations dealing with the same tragic problem.

What'd I experience?

Karla, who’s in her early twenties shares a hospital room with Don who’s in his early 50’s. They’re not the patients at the hospital but their mothers are. Don's mom Geena has had cancer for about 6 years and is fighting for her life while Karla’s mom Marcie has early-detected stage 1 cancer.

When I noticed that the play was going to focus on women that have cancer I looked back at my playbill to see what the title was. I thought to myself doesn’t the title have the word funny in it? I looked at the playbill and I was right it does! So I looked at the stage in confusion, sat back in my chair, gripped the handles of my chair and said… How are we about to make this cancer based play funny? Let me get myself together because this right here, is is going to be a show.

I’d like to think of myself as a pretty funny person so right off the bat it’s kind of hard to make me laugh. Like, if you’re going to give me a joke give it to me good, I love a GOOD laugh! Don’t hold back, so right off the bat I was expecting this play to have nothing less than deep, dangerous, and borderline-offensive jokes that could still be taken as funny.

Karla who’s an aspiring comedian wasted no time in making jokes on touchy subjects. While sitting next to her mother who was unresponsive on her hospital bed Karla made jokes about rape. She was asking her mom “Is it funny if I say, I want my vibrator to rape me? Or Should I say I want my vibrator to rape me in a dark alley?” When I heard those jokes I was looking around like I hope there’s nobody here taking major offense to this and I definitely hope that nobody here has been raped. Her jokes were funny but at the same time I just felt guilty, like am I supposed to be laughing at this? Is it okay to laugh at this?

Karla didn’t know that Don was behind the curtain with his mom, Geena. She noticed him when he told her that he wanted her to stop. He felt like her jokes weren’t appropriate and quite vulgar. I’m sure there were a few audience members who were team Don. Karla wasn’t having it, she felt disrespected because - how are you going to tell me what to and what not to joke about? You might not like my jokes and that’s okay, but it doesn’t give you that right to tell me what to or what not to joke about.

Don was so over Karla’s jokes he had to get her together and check her and her jokes even more. He told her “When your mother will be fighting for her life and you won’t even have her around anymore that’s when your jokes wouldn’t even matter, you need to enjoy the moments you have with her now before there are none.” Karla seemed so distraught after that. I think it didn’t really hit her that her mother had cancer and even though it was early-detected there’s still a chance that it could come back and spread.

Everyday Don and Karla came to see their mothers they would grow closer. Karla would still tell her borderline offensive jokes but they were so much more tolerable and Don would share some of his own things that he found funny. Don's sense of humor and jokes were so not funny to Karla or myself. We were just not impressed.

It’s just that we all could get so distracted by little things and do not acknowledge the severity of certain situations. It’s always good to have a good laugh because after all laughter is good for the soul but we still must be able to put things in perspective and cherish the moments that we do have with one another.


Want to see it?

:( Sorry, this show is not currently showing