Review of “A Family is a Family is a Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration”

Meet Katie and Jake.

Kate: Daddy and Poppy, I think they met at like a coffee place or something. Then they got married. Then they got me. Then they got Jake. Then we got chickens. We’ve got Quincy and Maude. We’ve got Snowball, she’s white. And Hattie, she’s black. I love my dads and my chickens and my dog — oh, and my brother.

What do you reckon? Too syrupy? Well, not to worry. A Family Is a Family Is a Family breaks up the adorableness with musical numbers from Ziggy Marley, Bonnie Raitt, Doris Day, Sweet Honey In The Rock, and Rosie herself. There’s even a cartoon rendition of a zillion sperm trying to fertilize an ovarian egg, set to the tune of Frank Sinatra‘s “Too Marvelous For Words.”

It’s actually kind of creepy, especially the part where the egg spritzes on perfume and the winning sperm disrobes and, um, dives right in.

The kids give the best explanation: “The sperm races to the egg and the first one there gets to make the baby. I think it’s a science thing, basically.”

There’s a reality check planted firmly in the middle of the show, when Rosie and her youngest daughter talk about how her other mom, Kelli Carpenter, doesn’t live with them anymore. Rosie reminds her that, no matter what, they will always be a family, because a family is love.

The 45-minute narrative plays a little like an after school special — but in America’s current political and social climate, I have to wonder who needs the message more: children or their parents.

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