Strong Principals & Excellent Ensemble Set Tone for BCF’s BABY

by Patricia A. Madison

BABY is the story of three couples, in varying stages of life, who discover that they’re pregnant.

(From l. to r.) Emily Huddell and Brad Kenny as Lizzie and Danny; Andrew Flothmeier and Brooks Black as Nick and Pam; and Steve Phillips and Barbara Burke Sherman as Alan and Arlene in Burlington County Footlighters' BABY, running in Cinnaminson NJ through February 5.

Lizzie and Danny (Emily Miller Huddedell & Brad Kenney) are college students. He wants to get married, she doesn’t.

Arlene and Alan (Barbara Burke Sherman & Steve Phillips) are empty nesters who have already raised 3 children and are not happy about the “accident”.

Pam and Nick (Brooks Black & Andrew Flothmeier) have been trying to get pregnant for some time and are ecstatic that Pam is finally expecting a baby.

The 6 principals are backed by an excellent ensemble (Matt Becker, Colleen Campbell, (excellent as the doctor), Beth Fox, John-Paul Helk, Lori Howard, Brenda Marie Kelly and Gina Petti) which does triple duty as set movers, small role actors and chorus. Except when they are playing individuals, they’re dressed as college professors; very effective, very well done.

The minimal set, cleverly designed by Jim Frazer, consists of cubes and upright platforms. The platforms are lowered and raised to portray seating, beds and what they are, platforms.

Only Brad Kenney & Brooks Black came out with strong voices immediately. The other 4 were a bit weak at first but came up to their maximum after 3 or 4 numbers. Oddly to me, the voices during duets were not nearly as good as they were on solos.

Act I had many funny lines and songs but was a full hour and a half. Act II was more poignant, not as funny, but blessedly shorter.

While BABY’s plot is thin and tunes may not be particularly memorable, that is not the fault of this company. I applaud Burlington County Footlighters for doing a show that is not often performed in local theatres.

Book by Sybille Pearson
Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr.
Directed by Basha Gardner
Musical Direction by Peg Smith
January 21 – February 5, 2011
Burlington County Footlighters
808 Pomona Road
Cinnaminson, NJ

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