Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Review: No Baby No

You know how on sitcoms when the characters are forced to go see theater, that it tends to be really bad and over the top? Imagine if that kind of show actually exists? Baby Hubris, a new play written by Jacqui Rego, is filled with the stuff that gets mocked on TV.
In Baby Hubris, Rego, playing the lead role, begins the show with a lengthy monologue that tries to be poetic but instead comes off as hokey. It has little barring on what's to come. Captivating the audience right off the bat is important. Rego did not do that. Once the show gets going, the story follows Rego’s Leslie as she meets a guy, gets knocked up, and is forced to have a child alone. Filled with hallucinations of a giant man-child and Dr. (Benjamin) Spock, Baby Hubris is just a showcase of Rego. Following the Lena Dunham model of writing a role for yourself where you can do anything you want, Baby Hubris unintentionally comes across as self-indulgent. The script, which seems never-ending, chronicles the hot and cold relationship of Leslie and baby daddy Wyatt. And yet it's the same fight in each scene. Rego makes mythology an important part of her story. But rather than have it come naturally, it's banged in quite aggressively. The references happen to be the glue that keeps the arc together.
From an acting standpoint, Rego did not mesh well with her costars. Chris Cornwell and Rob Brinkman found as much depth as they could muster up. Rego just seemed to be in a different world. No matter the situation, Rego played the victim, a choice that became grating. Had Rego found different actions to play, it’s possible that the repetition wouldn’t have been as bad. Chris Cornwell as Wyatt was a strong hunky hipster but what was most surprising was his uncanny baby sounds. Brinkman’s Dr. Spock brought a very booming tone to add a little intrigue to the hallucination character.
Director Sasha Bratt did all he could do to make this show tick and move. His staging was a bit erratic and the immense scene shifts lasted longer than the payoff of a new look. What was clever was the lullaby-style rock tunes that accompanied the transitions. It did help to tie the show together.
Baby Hubris sadly is sadly one of those shows that needs a lot of work and a new vision. The story is derivative with a usually unlikeable character.



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