'The Mommies -- A Musical Blog'

The Mommies are: Jennica McCleary, Michelle Boroughs, Katie Barnett, Adrienne Walker and Jorie Janeway. (Terry D. Cuffel, Corporate Visual Services)

Most everyone thinks his or her mother is unique. Whether the best, craziest, most aggravating or most loving, Mom is usually in a class all her own.

That works against the latest musical from Jeanie Linders, creator of the phenomenon "Menopause: The Musical."

In "The Mommies — A Musical Blog," five energetic women play every-moms, a glossy amalgamation of every cliché, complaint and joke you've ever heard about motherhood.

The women's characters don't have names; they don't even have distinct personalities. They're all interchangeably feisty, tired, resolute, frustrated, devoted. And in trying to be everything, they become avatars — those computer icons that represent something without actually being something.

In the same way a fairy-tale prince is just the vehicle for giving the heroine her happily ever after, these women are just the conduits for potty-training gags.

That's not to say the gags don't get laughs from a mostly-female crowd — they're tried and true after all. Erma Bombeck was writing this sort of thing back in the 1960s. In case you haven't heard: Teens eat a lot, like to sleep till noon and think their parents are totally uncool.

The women to a one have fine voices, and unlike the characterizations, those are distinctive. Adrienne Walker has magnificent range and beautifully sings a sentimental ballad, and Jennica McCleary has a good-time growl on the more rocking numbers.

The simple, effective set by Cindy White is a series of interlocking cubes framed by colored lights that evokes the show's idea of a modern mommy, using the Internet to help her through the child-rearing years.

Choreographer Patty Bender adds some fun touches: using plastic, portable training potties as top hats in a Broadway-style kick line, for one.

Director Kathryn Conte keeps things brisk, helped by the speed in which the vignettes gallop through child development. The show moves from fertility treatments to the baby bump to some post-partum-depression pole dancing to potty training within 20 minutes.

The funniest bit: A mother's story of accidentally seeing how much her teenage son has, um, developed. It's specific, it's a little eyebrow-raising and it's both funny and fresh — all things "The Mommies" could use more of.

mpalm@tribune.com or 407-420-5038

Theater review

What: 'The Mommies – A Musical Blog'

Length: 90 minutes, no intermission

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; no shows Sept. 23, Sept 28, Oct. 2, Nov. 5; through Nov. 20

Where: Darden Theater at Orlando Science Center, 777 E. Princeton St., Orlando

Tickets: $35

Call: 407-802-3293