Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Baby with the Bathwater

Photo/Randy Morrison

Just when you thought it was safe to have a baby, Christopher Durang's hilarious (yet hopeful) look at family values, parentage, and maturation (despite it all), is back on the stage. Baby with the Bathwater is no-holds-barred comedy, and under Kevin Connell's playful direction and the cast's exaggerated smiles, the play is as relevant now (if not more) as when it premiered in '84. The moral value of The Brothers Karamazov, as interpreted by the Mary Poppins-like nanny, Nanny (Anna Fitzwater) is that there is no right or wrong, only fun, and in that context, it's hilarious to watch John (Victor Verhaeghe) offer his depressed child, lying prone in a basket of laundry, some of his vodka -- in fact, it's almost heart-warming. John's wife, Helen (Karen Culp) is just as funny sitting on a swing at the park, encouraging other children to poke her "daughter" out of her comatose state. ("No, Billy! Don't poke her with that! Put that away!" calls another, yet no more active, mother.) When Daisy (Jeremy King) actually appears, late in the second act, he is exactly what you'd expect from such neglecting parents, but all hope is not lost. Between his seventh year as a sophomore, his 435th session with a therapist, and his 1,034th random girl, at least he, out of everyone else, may have actually grown up.

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