Under Schwartz’s direction, four (adult) babies take the stage – all coming from different backgrounds and walks of life based on their parents’ lifestyles. Though their paths may be different, one thing is the same: their desire to be understood and loved by their family and each other. These babies band together and bond over silly stories and baby drama (So, how’s that potty training going?) but more serious themes of abandonment, loss, and having their parents feel proud of them float to the surface as these babies get real. It’s moving to see the support system this group has created to deal with the issues most important to them. The Babies is the answer to the question of what really goes on in the minds of the family’s youngest members.
Two boys and two girls share the stage, with each personality being vibrant and unique. Barbara Mallory’s sweet and sensitive Sophie is well complemented by the sassy and energetic Spring, played by Jayme Lake. Anthony Gruppuso plays the timid and loveable Joshua and finds a true buddy in Desmond, played by Parnell Damone Marcano whose military family inspires him to never give up and makes him the unofficial leader in this group of friends.
Musical numbers are catchy and silly while sharing important life lessons. “What Are Friends For” and “All Alone” examines feelings of sadness, loneliness, and finding your tribe no matter your family circumstances. You may not be able to choose your family, but these babies will always have each other’s back. The emotional ballad, “We Will Get through This,” tugs at the heartstrings and is sung beautifully by Mallory. The scenic and lighting design by Josh Iacovelli brings light and warmth to the space with minimal props as not to distract from the group dynamic on stage – while ensuring that the babies are comfy and cozy in their distinctive onesies.
The Babies gives new meaning to the phrase, “viewing the world through the eyes of a child.” It’s not all sleepy time and cookies. Sometime the “you know what” hits the fan and causes babies to grow up faster. A delightful and insightful journey about family and friendship for the whole family to enjoy.
The Babies (through January 7, 2017)
St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues, in Manhattan
For tickets, visit https://www.telecharge.com/Off-Broadway/The-Babies/Schedules-Prices
Running time: 90 minutes without intermission