Monday, May 10, 2010
The New Group's latest production, The Kid, begins with gigantic projected heads speaking, and then singing, about their sexual, uh, challenges. We are in the living room--and mind--of Dan Savage, sex writer extraordinaire. The Kid follows Dan and boyfriend Terry's quest to adopt a child. As played by the charming Christopher Sieber, Dan is an amiable bear of a man with a wicked sense of humor, a tendency toward paranoia, and a big heart. Terry (touchingly played by Lucas Steele) is lithe, slim-hipped, long-haired, and much younger, and at first their partnership is a little jarring. But it soon becomes clear that they adore each other and that they both want very much to share their love with a little one. The Kid takes us through an orientation with other (straight) couples (where Dan and Terry jump to the conclusion, "They Hate Us"), a home inspection (featuring the wonderful Susan Blackwell), and Dan and Terry's hopes and fears as they deal with a homeless birth mother who may--or may not--give them her baby. The music is accessible and likeable, the lyrics are funny and smart, the book is efficient and entertaining, the direction is appropriately energetic, and the impressive cast includes Ann Harada, Brooke Sunny Moriber, and Tyler Maynard. If The Kid had opened on Broadway in the season that just ended, it would be a shoo-in for a bouquet of Tonys. Still, I hope it has a nice long run Off-Broadway, as it is an intimate, small, lovely musical.