I’m killing two birds with one stone (or simply “multi-tasking” if you are against avian violence) for this week’s entry, readers. For my Intro to Theatre class I needed to write an analysis of C of I’s fall production, Baby with the Bathwater.
As college students are wont to do, I have been putting off doing it for a week. But, I swear, my intentions were good! I wasn’t procrastinating simply for the sake of procrastinating. I’m just experiencing inner turmoil worthy of Gotham’s finest (that’s two Batman references in the last week, for those of you playing at home). Now, before you start getting worried about me (hi, Mom!), my inner turmoil isn’t due to some raging teen angst à la some cheesy 90’s afterschool special, I assure you. Instead, I’m struggling with writing this review in the fear of it somehow upsetting the lovely woman who teaches my theatre class…who also happens to be the director at the helm of Baby with the Bathwater.
No pressure, right?
Wrong! I feel like I’m under more pressure than Custer at Little Bighorn or the guy who had to follow Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon’s Annual Poetry Open Mic Night. She knows this play better than anyone. She’s practically done nothing but eat, sleep, breathe this play since summer. Eventually, though, this cowardly lion is going to have to gather the courage to write it, but…not right now (I said eventually!) Instead, to get me in the theatricality mindset, I present to you now the Ashley A. Miller Baby with the Bathwater Review (abridged and with added humorous asides).
C of I’s theatre department is a like a clandestine society. They shut themselves off entirely to the outside world for months, leaving only the whisper of show tunes blowing in the wind after them. Then they create magic. Sheer, Harry Potter-level magic and share it with the world (fact. Ask anyone who goes to school here).
So, being a Sophomore, I was already well aware of that and therefore had my expectations pretty far up there. And, readers, I was not disappointed.
Baby with the Bathwater was an outrageous tale about the woes of raising a baby…while also being certifiably insane. As unfunny as that sounds, the play actually had me laughing through the majority of it (usually covering my mouth in an attempt to hide it, my internal monologue screaming “Oh dear God, I’m going to hell for laughing at that”). It’s very much an adventure down the rabbit hole, if the rabbit hole made you question your childhood and left you with a newfound appreciation for bus drivers, that is.
The set seemed to act as a character itself. Before the play had started I entertained myself by just looking at it, taking in all the impossible detail. It had the bright, kitschy 80’s sitcom feel to it which fit the show perfectly.
But what really sold the play for me was the acting. I have classes with these kids on a daily bases yet I still had no trouble buying what they were selling. I didn’t see Gabrielle from my Poetry class, I saw Nanny, the wicked and warped version of Mary Poppins. I didn’t see Jordan, I saw Helen, the lovechild of Scarlett O’Hara and Girl, Interrupted. And that’s what makes the show great. This group of college age kids getting up on that stage and totally knocking it out of the park.
So, by the time you are reading this, ladies and gentleman, the play will have had its final curtain call. But, do yourself a favor and make sure to catch the next show they put on. You won’t regret it.
Well wish me luck! I’m off to go attempt to right my review (but in all honestly I’m probably so not going to do that. Why do that when I could read a book or watch TV or try to figure out the ending of Inception or ponder how much straight Taco Bell I can eat before my kidneys abandon ship. Life is full of possibilities, readers.)
-Ashley A. Miller
Ashley is a Sophomore Creative Writing major from Payette, ID