Two women are onstage. At the left is a woman in a blue polka-dot bathrobe. Her arms are folded in front of her and she looks concerned. At the right is the blurred face of another woman who is in the process of lighting a cigarette. The woman on the right has her eyes closed and one hand shields the lighter flame.
Allison Womack (left) and Daniella Rukin in Cry It Out at Theatre Above the Law Credit: Tyler Core

When I read Molly Smith Metzler’s now award-winning Cry It Out in 2018, I knew it was something special. I am still not a parent myself nor (at that point) were any of my closest friends. Fast-forward five years and a lot has changed, but Metzler’s poignant portrayal of parenthood still resonates stronger than ever. 

An examination of how new parenthood affects everyone differently, Cry It Out follows four new parents battling sleep deprivation and societal standards. Women can’t have it all, and if they try to, they’re selfish. Stay-at-home parents struggle with loneliness as well as a new sense of self. All the while, the baby monitors are there like Big Brother watching your kid, so you don’t get a moment’s rest without thinking you’re a terrible parent. You know, the unspoken joys of parenthood. 

Cry It Out
Through 4/2: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM; also Mon 3/27 7:30 PM; Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis, 773-655-7197,, $$25 ($20 students/seniors

I’ve made this play sound much more melodramatic than it really is. Even so, Theatre Above the Law’s dynamic acting foursome under the direction of Melanie McNulty brings Metzler’s charming work to life. It’s all at once heart-wrenching and hilarious, brutally honest but with a dose of optimism. It doesn’t take being a parent to empathize with seeing Jessie, Lina, Mitchell, and Adrienne traversing a new way of life. Especially for young adults who aren’t close to any parents their own age, Metzler’s work illuminates the ways in which we can actually help one another. If you need me, I’ll be checking in more often on my best friends with a toddler.