Baby with the Bathwater Critique
“Baby with the Bathwater” is a play by Christopher Durang about two parents who were completely unprepared for parenthood. At first, they can’t decide on a name for the baby, but eventually name it Daisy. They decide to choose the sex of the baby later and they have no idea how to handle or treat a baby. The parents, John and Helen, played by Stephen Tyler Howell and Danielle Amick, did a fantastic Job in portraying the struggles and uncertainties of parenthood. The acting styles of both these actors were very dramatic, but served the vision of the playwright well.
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The Nanny, played by Caitlin Humphreys, was a character who showed up out of nowhere. She also had no idea how to handle a baby and was possibly out of her mind. Caitlin Humphreys’ acting style was also very dramatic, but effective. As the second act opens, the audience is finally hit with the first sign of normalcy, with Miss Daisy and the two mothers in the park. The two mothers in the park, played by Cheryl Ann Gottselig and Caitlin Humphreys, was the first time that the parents were looked upon by some with rational sense.
The second sign of normalcy was with the haracter Miss Pringle, played by Natalie Beisner, who realized that there might be something dramatically wrong with Daisy’s Psyche. As the second act progresses, the audience realizes that Daisy is in fact a boy. At age 17 he realizes that he in fact is not a girl and stops wearing dresses. It is clear that he was deeply affected by the negligence of his parents. The audience gets to listen in on Daisy’s therapy sessions and see him psychologically develop over time. Jordan Kubat’s portrayal of daisys psyche was perfect.
He was able to interpret what a child who experienced what aisy experience would be like. The one aspect of the production that hit me the wrong way was the cursing. The use of profanity occurred more than five times during the production. I don’t believe that this was needed to further the entertainment value of the production. The overall production of “Baby with the Bathwater” was put together very smoothly. The costume by Ariel Thomke, were very well designed. Hair and makeup by Nancy Fregoso was very well done and subtle. Lighting designer Anthony Miller was able to create a subtle lit atmosphere.
Sometimes the lighting in a small theatre can be too bright or overwhelming, however, this time it was very well done. Sound by Mark Boyle was very effective as well. There were no mistakes or loud hiccups in the sound delivery of the performance. This production was performed in the “Hallberg Theatre”, a moderately sized arena style theatre at Cal. State Fullerton. The set of “Baby with the Bathwater” was very well designed with the amount of room that there was to work with. The Scenic Designer, Jessy Henning was able to deliver a very functional set design. The only furniture on stage was a swing and a slide.
I have never scene a stage design like this before and believe it worked surprisingly well with the overall performance. The overall flow of the production is a direct representation of the direction by Kari Hayter. “Baby with the Bathwater” was a great play for a college campus. Humor and unexpected turns were constantly incorporated into the production. Ms. Hayter did a fantastic Job organizing the performance and creating the very dramatic mood. At ought the pertormance to be a li the overall flow of the production. ttle over dramatic. However, it tit in well witn