The review of Baby With the Bathwater is up on the Iowa Theatre blog!
by Meghan D’Souza, photo by Brian Tanner
Parents Helen and John are overwhelmed, to say the least, when they bring home their newborn baby in Christopher Durang’s Baby with the Bathwater.
“Is it a boy or a girl?” John, played by humorous Bryant Duffy, asks his wife with great confusion. Helen (Kait Skaggs) responds that according to their doctor, they don’t have to decide right away. She has always wanted a girl, however, so in time she names their child Daisy.
Fast-forward 17 years and Daisy, played brilliantly by Brian Tanner, is a man in therapy trying to understand why his parents raised him as a girl, how to cope with his depressed mother and delirious father, and how to come to terms with who he really is.
This is a dark comedy and the cast delivers the humor well. The two highlights for me were supporting actresses June Kungu and Annette Rohlk. This pair appears in the second act, first as mothers sitting by Helen in a park, then as a teacher and principal at Daisy’s school.
The chemistry between the two is fluid and natural. When they act as mothers, the audience feels like they are really getting a glimpse into a private, but humorous conversation. Kungu’s body language, facial expressions, and speech all feel natural. She knows how to act without over acting.
Rohlk won me over as the self-centered, eccentric principal. Her comic timing and interaction with Kungu, the truly concerned teacher, was impeccable. She used the stage and props wisely to get the best laughs in a scene that was fairly dark. I can’t imagine a better pairing.
This play is certainly worth seeing. It is different, it is funny, and you will leave it with something to talk about.
Baby With the Bathwater runs Friday and Saturdays through April 28, 7:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Society. Tickets are $13 ($10 students/seniors). Call 319.423.9820 to reserve by phone.