During the coronavirus pandemic, Emmy-nominated actor and chef-owner of MetroFresh restaurant Mitchell Anderson began writing a one-man, cabaret-style show called “You Better Call Your Mother,” which will come to the stage of Synchronicity Theatre in Midtown Nov. 4 to 7.
The pandemic led to Anderson reflecting on his life and he began writing as a sort of therapy, resulting in “You Better Call Your Mother,” a collection of monologues, anecdotes, and songs, coming to the stage.
In four performances this November, Anderson will take audiences through his life as a somewhat nerdy, over-achieving little boy who spent his school years trying to get elected class president and not disappoint his parents, while coming to terms with being gay.
Audiences will experience his grandmother’s favor in Jamestown, New York, Anderson’s early romances, his star performances in Doogie Howser and The Karen Carpenter Story, realizing his father’s respect, and finding love in Atlanta with his husband of 24 years, Richie Arpino.
“You Better Call Your Mother” examines how Anderson navigated his professional career as an actor while the AIDS crisis was raging in a homophobic and closeted Hollywood. In the end, he discovers the only way to a happy and productive life was to claim and celebrate all of who he is.
“When I walked off stage after going off-script and telling the audience I was gay at the 1996 GLAAD Awards in Los Angeles, I was advised – literally by someone I was passing as I left the stage, ‘You better call your mother,” said Anderson. “At the time, I was a little bit famous after ten years on television and I was playing a gay character on Party of Five. As it turned out, the spontaneous decision to ‘come out’ at that moment, made after years of trying to figure out how to live sort of in and sort of out of the closet, changed the trajectory of my life.”
The 90-minute show is in two acts with a brief intermission. Written and performed by Anderson, “You Better Call Your Mother” is directed by professional actress, singer, and vocal coach Courtenay Collins, with musical direction by theatre veteran Bill Newberry.
Tickets are available now for the Nov. 4 to 7 shows, with choices of three evening shows and one matinee performance, for $25.
Synchronicity Theater is located where South Buckhead and Midtown meet, just North of Anderson’s second restaurant location, MetroFresh Uptown. Ticket holders can receive specially priced meals at both MetroFresh locations prior to the evening performances and before or after the matinee.