Monday, March 02, 2020

"Miss You Like Hell" at Olney Theater

Content warning: suicidal ideation, car wreck

"Miss You Like Hell" is a road trip story, which can be tough to pull off in the theater. It us, of course, more than that. A mother, Beatriz, shows up unexpectedly at her daughter Olivia's, suggesting a road trip. Olivia hasn't seen her mother in several years and  has some abandonment issues. When Beatriz reveals she hit the road after seeing a tumblr post indicating Olivia was considering suicide, Olivia agrees to the trip. Along the way they talk, meet other travelers, and even a tumblr commenter. And Olivia learns that Beatriz's immigration status is in danger, that perhaps a plea ftom her daughter would help.
The show has some rough spots. While Olivia's suicidal ideation was the catalyst, most of the suggestions for addressing that are to be handled later, which is realistic but does have the sense of kind of brushing her mental health to the side. 
Certainly the trip allows Olivia to understand her mom better, and therefore realize that some of the choices her mom had made concerning her were not how she interpreted them. 
The songs similarly ranged from intense and haunting, to simplistic. I did get home and download the original cast album.
It is particularly interesting to see a show where the teen character is played by a teen. I had the pleasure of sitting near some of the actresses friends. (She attends school across the street from the theater, per the program.)
The rest of the cast was fun. The set made use of projection for parts of the road trip. The sound was a little wonky at my showing, but nothing that detracted from the enjoyment of the show.