At times comic, and at others heartfelt, Alli Mauzey portrays Pattie Levaco in the original Broadway cast of Kimberly Akimbo. She visited the Playbill Studio to perform "Father Time," a mother's desperate and "heartbreaking" plea to not lose her daughter yet. Watch Mauzey's performance above as she builds from the soft tones of a lullaby to the powerful voice of an adamant wish.
Kimberly Akimbo officially opened at Broadway's Booth Theatre November 10. The new musical features a book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (based on his play of the same name), music by Tony winner Jeanine Tesori, choreography by Danny Mefford, and direction by Jessica Stone.
It tells the story of a bright New Jersey teenager named Kimberly who has a disease that makes her body age over four times the normal rate, giving her the fragile body of an elderly woman. Mauzey plays Pattie, Kimberly's mom who ended up pregnant with the show's leading character while in high school, and is now expecting a second child. At times insensitive and narcissistic, her first song is a vlog entry for the coming baby. Telling the child that people will say terrible things about her at her funeral someday, she charges her unborn child with defending her when that happens. With all of its humor, the song gives the audience an idea of how flawed Pattie is.
But on the eve of Kimberly's 16 birthday, Pattie sings "Father Time." While "sweet 16" is typically an anticipated celebration, Kimberly's is an unwelcome one: 16 years old is the average life expectancy of someone with Kimberly's condition.
“It’s a private moment,” says Mauzey of the song, which Mauzey performs onstage by herself. “It's interesting to me that it takes everybody leaving the room and leaving Pattie alone for her to actually be able to honestly open up.” Mauzey attributes that in part to the complexities of Pattie’s relationships: her husband has an alcohol addiction, her sister is in and out of jail, and her daughter may have a short life. “I think it's important for the audience to see. We really have to walk away knowing, despite the words that come out of Pattie’s mouth, that at the very core of her, she loves her daughter very much. And she's terrified of losing her. It's heartbreaking.”
As a mother herself, Mauzey's own experiences bleed into her work, and inform her approach to playing Pattie. “I let that lie and live in me. It doesn’t take much for me to reflect on wanting more time with my child in my life,” she says. “Playing Pattie makes me grateful and appreciative for the time I get with my kid day in and day out.”