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They prefer to think of it as their little baked potato, or some other vegetable. Disappointingly, Daisy spends most of her childhood lying under a heap of laundry--a device to thwart Mom, Mom is sure.
It raises the question of what to give him on his next birthday. Mom knows. A kilt. In this play one also sees the beginning of a certain compassion for the figures trapped in his cartoons. Here he attacks the sacred shrine itself: Mom and Dad. Why are we usually crazy? Because they usually are. Here, Dad Edward Edwards is a helpless-feeling fellow who would rather hide behind the refrigerator than cope with a new infant or anything else , while Mom Deborah Harmon is much too superior a person to deal with the yukkiness of infant care.
This leaves baby-poo to the strong-armed care of Nanny Lu Leonard at her jolliest. Apple-cheeked Nanny belongs to the beat-him-if-he-sneezes school of child care and also hands out rattles laced with Red Dye No.
No wonder it takes baby-poo about 20 years and about sessions with his shrink to recover. Actually the most wince-producing image is that of the kilt, an all too plausible example of the devastating messages that a parent can send to a child without being aware of it himself.
I thought of the Midwestern couple in Dr. Grotesques, yes. But grotesques who were patterned that way--by genes, by their crazy parents, by such agents of society as Nanny. At the final curtain Daisy and his girlfriend Jennifer Tilly have even committed an act of parentage themselves.
They are seen nervously cooing over a new little stranger, whom they have ascertained to be male. Nobody plays the warden like Lu Leonard. Other scenes go way off the track. Watching Daisy on the playground, Harmon seems to be imitating a suspicious private detective.
Guest, for instance, brings a wonderful dryness to the role of Daisy, a blend of resignation and limited hope for the future. Tilly is also first-rate in a number of quietly bizarre supporting roles. Public Theatre at the Coronet Theatre. Director Matt Casella. Scenery and lighting Gerry Hariton and Vicki Baral. Costumes Charles Berliner. Sound Jon Gottlieb. Production stage manager Bryan Burch-Worch. Plays Tues. La Cienega Blvd. Hot Property. About Us. Brand Publishing.
Times News Platforms. Times Store. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. July 1, Times Theater Critic.
Given that these parents inhabit Christopher Durang's new comedy at Playwrights Horizons, ''Baby With the Bathwater,'' need I tell you that they soon drive their child absolutely bonkers? Helen, a frustrated novelist who would rather have given birth to ''Scruples'' than a child, tries to quiet the baby's tears by singing ''There's No Business Like Show Business. Nanny - a warped Mary Poppins, as played by Dana Ivey - believes that cuddling children only spoils them. She gives the baby a rattle made of asbestos, lead and Red Dye No. As you can see, Helen, John and Nanny are secular versions of Mr. Durang's Sister Mary Ignatius: they're adults who sadistically chew up their young, then spit the remains onto a psychiatrist's couch.
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They prefer to think of it as their little baked potato, or some other vegetable. Disappointingly, Daisy spends most of her childhood lying under a heap of laundry--a device to thwart Mom, Mom is sure. It raises the question of what to give him on his next birthday. Mom knows.
STAGE: 'BABY,' NEW DURANG COMEDY
Join StageAgent today and unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities. Research Playwrights, Librettists, Composers and Lyricists. Browse Theatre Writers. An absurdist, dark comedy, Baby with the Bathwater , starts with new parents John and Helen staring lovingly at their baby, Daisy. The scene quickly takes a turn, however, as the couple show absolutely no knowledge of how to adequately care for their child. Daisy is tossed, screamed at, handed a poisonous toy, and even stolen by a disturbed woman, who proceeds to run in front of a bus.