Review: ‘The Ins and Outs of Fingers, Spoons, and an Open Marriage’ at Carnegie Stage

By Megan Grabowski

After 2 years, Off The Wall Productions welcomes back a physical audience for a culturally courageous and wildly trailblazing one-person show, The Ins and Outs of Fingers, Spoons, and an Open Marriage. Written and performed by Pascale Roger- McKeever, directed by Austin Pendleton, and witnessed by a curious, supportive audience excited to be stepping through the doors of Carnegie Stage for the Pittsburgh premiere Thursday, February 24, 2022.

Ins and Outs is a brave and bold production. The show features Mom, a 40 something mother living in a quiet neighborhood, moving through life playing the roles society has assigned her, yet, her soul agonizes over the normalcy of her part. Mom strives to stay afloat emotionally through her artistic outlets and distractions of parenting until her husband proposes an open marriage. Shy, reserved, and full of self-doubt, she eventually starts a relationship with a bachelor neighbor. In turn, she sparks an advent of reflection and intense scrutiny of her life, past, present, and future.

I want you to enjoy Ins and Outs as much as I did.

Pascale Roger- McKeever

McKeever is brilliant in her delivery of Mom. She is ecstatic, sad, scared, insightful, and all that makes up a woman. And truth be told (finally), moms know there is nothing else like motherhood to strip a female of her identity. Then, cripple motherhood with trauma, past or present, and you have the making of a full-blown identity crisis. McKeever is believable; she is average and spectacular simultaneously, just the way moms are made. The use of a singular prop, a wooden bar stool, and dressing in layers that can easily be shed or added to complements the complexity of Mom with a calming simplicity.

Let me make this very clear, Ins and Outs will not be a show everyone will enjoy.

Firstly, the language! I am not offended by vulgar language, always believing the context in which a word is used carries more significance than the word itself. Nevertheless, there is a significant amount of off-color language. Secondly, Mom is in the midst of a personal revelation, and her epiphany appears as she explores her smoldering sexuality until her whole world is ablaze. Mom doesn’t renounce her truths as they reveal themselves; in fact, just the opposite, Mom shares with us the entanglement of her complicated and daunting thoughts and feelings. This is raunchy and sometimes uncomfortable; it is sex, not smut but humanness. Finally, there are potential triggers related to domestic violence and eating disorders.

Throughout the 80 minute performance, we watch as Mom explores and examines her life in the most normal yet often addressed as shameful.

Don’t let these notes stop you from attending; just come prepared for the rawness and honesty Ins and Outs brings to the stage.

Masking and proof of vaccination or negative test is required for admittance.

Performances are February 26th at 8pm and 27th at 7pm.For more information and tickets visit: https://www.insideoffthewall.com

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