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Review of Rockville Little Theatre’s The Baby Dance

By • Sep 13th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

We (Laura and Mike) were out of town last weekend, so Melissa Tilley set us her thoughts on the Rockville Little Theatre‘s performance of The Baby Dance. If you have seen a show in the area recently, feel free to send us your thoughts about it.

What would you do if you were in a position to make the hardest decision you’ve ever made concerning an innocent baby’s life? The Baby Dance presented by Rockville Little Theater explores this issue very effectively. This play is an emotional rollercoaster that will have you riding the ups and downs along with the very believable cast.

Jane Anderson’s The Baby Dance is about a “trailer trash” couple, Wanda (McCall Noelle Farrell) and Al (Brian Dettling), who are about to have their fifth child and are worried that their trailer just isn’t big enough for another mouth to feed. As a result, Wanda responds to an ad from a wealthy couple seeking to adopt a baby. The well-off couple (portrayed by Kim Gowland and Micheal Young) desperately wants a baby after continued failures to conceive. They enter into an agreement, handled by the couple’s lawyer (Bruce Kaplan), to take care of Wanda and her baby throughout her pregnancy, in exchange for the right to adopt the baby after Wanda gives birth. Second thoughts of adoption arise when a problem occurs during birth that could have serious, irreversible effects on the baby.

This play was very well acted and directed. Kudos goes to the director, Sara Joy Lebowitz, for her hand in the direction that made this cast seamless. This was a true ensemble cast and every person offered a true stand out performance. The actors should be celebrated for their commitment to their roles. The audience appeared to be on pins and needles anticipating how the story would draw to a close as apparent by the constant whispering and shuffling in close proximity to me. The question arises of whether people have the ability to change the paths of their lives, or are we born into situations that define us as people.

The set was very basic but also held many details designed by the master carpenter Dettling. This provided a very valuable realism. The first act is a glimpse inside Wanda and Al’s scorching trailer without air conditioning, with the second act taking place in a cold, sterile hospital room.

There are a couple of forewarnings: this is an adult themed show addressing serious issues. It may not be appropriate for children. Lebowitz has made a bold choice to discard the curtain call to leave the spectator alone with the final thoughts of the play. I think this choice works for this play as the seriousness of the ending doesn’t call for happy applause at the end, but this choice drew mixed reactions from various audience members.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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