Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Be My Baby"

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note: entire contents copyright 2016 by Tony Annicone



"BE MY BABY"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone



The second show of the 16th season of The Renaissance City Theatre, the producing entity at the Granite Theatre is "Be My Baby" by Ken Ludwig of "Lend Me a Tenor" fame. The play tells the story of John, an irascible Scotsman and an uptight English woman, Maud who take on the journey of a lifetime. They are brought together when his ward marries her niece. Then, when the young couple decides to adopt a new born baby, the older couple has to travel 6000 miles to California to pick up the child and bring her safely home to Scotland. The problem is, John and Maud despise each other. To make matters worse, they get stranded in San Francisco for several weeks and are expected to jointly care for the helpless newborn. There they form a new partnership and learn some startling lessons about life and love. Director David Jepson does double duty in this show by not only directing it but also playing the huge role of John. His expertise on comic situations and his excellent casting of these roles, wins them a thunderous ovation on a job well done.

David keeps the action in constant motion and he commands the stage in this role with his terrific Scottish accent. His one liners are hilarious and he delivers them with finesse. John thinks Maud is uppity and opinionated. One of his funniest moments occurs when flashes Maud with his kilt while another one is when he asks the nurse to knock him up, making her think he is a sex maniac. His lovely wife, Beth plays the stodgy Maud who loathes John at first but after a couple of crisis situations, lets her hair down a bit. She also thinks John is crude and cheap. Beth has some clever one liners that leave you laughing merrily all night long. A laugh out loud moment occurs when she drinks a Rob Roy on the plane. This drunken scene is terrific. You also learn about their past while they are on their adventure.

Playing his ward, Christy is Tom Steenburg while Courtney Littlefield tackles the role of Gloria. They both give wonderful portrayals as this young couple who want to start a family after they are married. Their funniest scene is the hugging and kissing scene when the audience first meets them. Things turn serious after a few months of marriage and the audience sees how things twist and turn back in Scotland while the older couple is trying to make their way back to them. The show is a series of vignettes that move from scene to scene with hard working stage manager, Barbara Collins and her cast keeping things moving smoothly all night long. Rounding out the cast are Danielle Conti, John Lamar, Chris Maxwell and Linda Shea. They win many laughs in their comic roles like a Russian bellhop, a stern judge, a kindly minister, an irate nurse, a Scottish cook and a gay waiter on roller skates that has to be seen to be believed. So for a funny, thought provoking and well written script by Ken Ludwig, be sure to catch The Renaissance City Theatre's production of "Be My Baby" at the Granite Theatre in Westerly. It will certainly tickle your funny bone.

BE MY BABY (15 April to 7 May)
Renaissance City Theatre Company, Granite Theatre, 1 Granite St, Westerly, RI
1(401)596-2341 or www.granitetheatre.com




THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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