Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Rosemary's Baby"

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note: entire contents copyright 1998 by Beverly Creasey

"Rosemary's Baby"

by Beverly Creasey

The Gold Dust Orphans, who are producing the outrageous cross-dressed musical "Rosemary's Baby" are geniuses when it comes to filling a theater. Every performance this weekend was sold out, and most likely every seat at the tiny Bates Center on Harrison Avenue will be filled their final weekend will be filled as well. Forget Gold Dust: Someone must have sprinkled fairy-dust all over the South End.

The musical "Rosemary's Baby" takes the Ira Levin story of a demonic pregnancy --- which was already pretty camp, especially in the film --- to the very limits of questionable taste. Talk about "Sympathy for The Devil" === this lurid Landry version features a horny witch (Ticia Low of the gorgeous high voice), a wannabe embryo (Ryan Landry himself with a dainty Big Bird voice and the comic abashedness of Harold Lloyd), as well as these familiar characters from the film: Rosemary (the adorable tap-dancin" dynamo Charles Fineran in a Mia Farrow Wig), her nasty, scheming husband (Bill Hough the talented composer of the play's score) and as the demonic neighbors: director James P. Byrne and Walter McLean in the Sidney Blackmer/Ruth Gordon roles --- which they parody in great style (and it isn't easy to parody a parody!).

Landry and company use every opportunity to send conventional- and good-taste packing. The sight gags are pretty funny I must admit, but mostly it's the audience who are gagging. What makes "Rosemary's Baby" fly, in the final analysis, is the fun the cast is having with these salacious goings-on. When I saw it, they kept cracking themselves up --- despite repeated warnings from Landry against "the temptation to improv." Believe it or not, this "Rosemary's Baby" is the Gold Dust gang's attempt at a morality tale for the millennium.

"Rosemary's Baby" (till 21 November)
The Dollhouse Theatre, 731 Harrison Avenue, BOSTON

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide