’night Mother
courtesy of Anacostia Playhouse

Let’s get one thing straight: ’night Mother does not make for a warm, uplifting night at the theater. One might be tempted to slap a content warning on the whole script, considering its open discussion of suicide and depression. And yet Marsha Norman’s play draws audiences in with its intimacy. The two-hander consists of a single conversation between a widowed mother and her divorced daughter, as both of them grapple with the disappointments of their lives and try to figure out whether or not they will go on. Given that the play rises or falls based on the performance of the two actors, it’s hard to predict just how affecting any production will be, but give it a chance and let it move you. If you’re going to see a death-centered show and need a little levity, see Sweeney Todd murder unsuspecting Londoners at Signature Theatre. But if you want to probe the power of conversation and the weight of decades of familial obligation, ’night Mother just might be the play for you. ’night Mother opens April 22 and runs through May 4 at Anacostia Playhouse. anacostiaplayhouse.com. $50.