Expect great things from ‘Baby’

Courtney Linde

As I strolled into the intimate Villanova Theatre, I kept hearing in my mind the one-word title of the musical being performed. Baby, baby, baby.

As simple as the title may be, the story was the extreme opposite.

When the lights went down in the house, I was not sure exactly how I was going to respond to this production, having no previous knowledge of the play.

However, after only a few numbers, I knew this production was going to be one that should not be missed.

“Baby” is the story of three couples, each with a completely different situation.

Danny and Lizzie are two college students who are facing the reality that they are going to have a baby.

Nick and Pam are married and want nothing more than to have a child.

Alan and Arlene are the oldest of the three couples and already have grown children of their own.

However, like Danny and Lizzie, they too find out that they are “unexpectedly expecting.”

Their stories capture the audience, which become emotionally attached to the characters.

The actors seemed to meld with their characters, making them much easier for the audience to relate to.

The musical takes place during the ’80s, and the costumes used in the production remain true to the time.

The props also mirror the decade perfectly.

Hair and makeup also carry the audience back to the ’80s.

Villanova sophomore Janet McWilliams is especially impressive as one of lead characters, Lizzie.

She is credible, likeable and sincere.

The ensemble is equally noteworthy.

They integrate seamlessly into the show and deliver some of the biggest laughs and the most impressive voices.

I offer little criticism for this production.

However, there are a few minor flaws that need improvement. Many times, the actors have their backs to the audience, causing us to miss key facial expressions and dialogue.

Also, although the music is outstanding, there are many occasions when the music becomes a little too strong for the voices, especially when only one or two people are performing. Aside from the minor staging and musical flaws, this production is quite a success.

This was the opening night performance, and I am confident that the production will continue to thrive.

I left the theatre still humming the songs from the production.

When the audience leaves and cannot stop singing, “baby” … that spells success.

“Baby,” with music by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr., is based on a book by Sybille Pearson.

If you’re feeling stressed with midterms, put your books down and head to the theatre. You won’t be disappointed.

It will run from Feb. 12 until March 2 in the Villanova Theatre.