‘Baby’ disturbs, humors crowd

Lindsey Thurman

Members of Thursday night’s audience couldn’t put their fingers on what they felt after watching “Baby with the Bathwater,” but most people agreed that the play had a disturbing yet funny mood.

Throughout the play, the audience mixed bursts of laughter with furrowed brows.

“Baby with the Bathwater”, which opened Thursday night and was performed by Western’s department of theatre and dance, follows the life of Daisy, a baby boy who is mistaken for a girl by his clueless and hysterical parents.

Terri Wells, parent of Glasgow junior and cast member Abby Wells, said she was glad her daughter prepared her for the play.

“It was interesting and entertaining, but if she hadn’t prepared me for it I probably wouldn’t know how to have taken it,” Wells said. “At times you didn’t quite know when to laugh and when not to.”

Wells was one of many audience members who needed time to establish her opinion about the play.

Paducah junior Carl Huffine agreed.

“It was different and sort of disturbing, but there were times when you just had to laugh,” Huffine said.

Director Scott Stroot, theatre and dance department head, said the story of Daisy’s bizarre childhood and struggle to establish his true identity was a sharp satire, and he expected audiences to sense that something wasn’t quite right.

People who appreciate television programs “MadTV” and “Saturday Night Live’s” humor would probably be more apt to laugh at the element of ridicule in the play, Stroot said.

“Others may see it as disturbing because the characters are so human that it cuts a little close to the bone,” Stroot said.

Mathematics professor Claus Ernst said the characters were so exaggerated that it took him a couple of minutes to realize how real it was.

But the play did not affect everyone the same way.

Nolensville sophomore Shelby Cotton and Owensboro freshman Scott Walters attended the play Thursday night, but weren’t impressed by it.

“The plot was underdeveloped,” Walters said. “It just wasn’t very good.”

Stroot, however, was pleased with his cast and their performances.

“I am very happy with the cast,” Stroot said. “They really seem to get it and are connected to the play and the characters.”

Nashville senior and cast member Tasha Fry, who plays a strange nanny that appears without warning to take care of Daisy, said Thursday night’s performance went smoothly.

“For the size we had, the audience reacted really well,” Fry said about the roughly 150 people who attended.

The production played over Easter weekend and ticket sales were fair.

Nanci Hall, an office associate in theatre and dance, said the play has had fairly small audiences and that ticket sales were highest on Thursday night.

Tickets are still available and can be reserved by calling 745-3121.

The final performance will be at 8 p.m. tonight in Russell Miller Theatre in the fine arts center.

Reach Lindsey Thurman at [email protected]