Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad Review

Hockey Mom, Hockey DadOne of the benefits of sports blogging is that on occasion I get invited to events relating to sports in the area. This week was the first time it got me a night out at the theatre for Neptune Theatre’s production of Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad.

The play, written by Michael Melski and starring Heather Rankin and Kevin Kincaid, puts a nuanced twist on the very Canadian theme of hockey parenting. Rather than being a play about hockey, it is a tale of relationships and the need for companionship balanced by the difficulty in placing your total trust in others.

Rankin and Kincaid play single parents that meet due to their sons playing for the same deplorable house league hockey team. Kincaid is the brash, loud-mouthed Teddy that most who’ve been in a rink early on a weekend will find familiar. His performance is spot on, as he flawlessly delivers the hockey cliches and rants of frustrated parents with professional aspirations for the kids. I can attest to meeting and knowing lots of dads (and moms too) like him. In spite of his rougher side, Teddy shows his softer side in his love for his son and desire for traditional family life with a partner.

The setting is probably perfect for the exploration of that latter theme as the minor hockey setting is a more accurate analogy for the Canadian nuclear family. It is that feeling of exclusion that leads Teddy to spark conversation with Heather Rankin’s Donna.

This play however is more about Donna. A single mother, struggling to find work and trust in others is confronted with a world she is neither comfortable nor familiar. Teddy becomes her guide through this world and he hopes to be more. It isn’t as easy as that though.

I found the chemistry between Rankin and Kincaid to be very good. Both deliver quality individual performances, but work equally well together. Along with the serious elements to this play, the writing includes some funny moments that pick at some the more common themes in the hockey world.

The play runs until October 27th and I’d encourage anyone to go see it. While those familiar with the world of minor hockey may understand a couple of the inside jokes on, anyone should be able the relate to the far more important theme of companionship and trust in humanity.

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