‘Baby’ comes to LMC Feb. 23-26

Article Published: Feb. 2, 2012 | Modified: Feb. 26, 2012

Lees-McRae College Performing Arts will present a musical about birth, titled “Baby,” Feb. 23-26 at the college’s Hayes Auditorium in Banner Elk.

“Baby” will be presented Feb. 23 to 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.

The production is directed by Michael Hannah and features 14 cast members from the college’s performing arts program.

“Baby” explores the effects an impending birth can have on three couples on a college campus.

Danny and Lizzie are college juniors who have only just moved in together and find that soon there will be three in their tiny basement apartment. Nick and Pam are both thirtysomething coaches who desperately want a child but have major problems conceiving. Alan and Arlene have just sent the last of their three daughters off to college and look forward to being just a couple again – but that won’t last for long.

“I’ve done this musical twice before, and each time I look at it, I realize how wonderfully moving these stories are,” said Hannah, an associate professor of performing arts and coordinator of the BFA in Musical Theatre Program at LMC. “The first production I did was with the former Blowing Rock Stage Company nearly 25 years ago, and the second was here at LMC in 1997.”

“Baby” features a book by Sybille Pearson, lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and music by David Shire.

When it premiered in 1983, the New York Times wrote: “Shire writes with sophistication over a range that embraces rock, jazz and the best of Broadway schmaltz. ... Maltby’s lyrics are not just smart and funny, but often ingenious.”

The New York Post added, “Pearson’s book is agreeably smart ... it has style and energy, a rare combination.”

The LMC cast features Randi Sowards as Lizzie, Ethan Henry as Danny, Osmary Nieves as Pam, Richard Gebo as Nick, Makenzie Simpson as Arlene and Jarrett Koski as Alan. Appearing in the ensemble are Sarah Rutzen, Chloe Boggs, Emma Sheffer, Kaitlyn Buchanan, Stephen Redmon, Miky Prather, Ryan Tucker and Brad Skinner.

Jim Taylor, director of voice at LMC, serves as music director, Danielle Curtis is scenic and lighting designer, and costume design duties are shared by Tessa Carr and Mindi Bishop.

“The beauty of the show is its simplicity,” Hannah said. “The stories involve real people having to face some all-too-real challenges and to make some serious changes in their lives as a result. The songs are both serious and humorous and cover a range of musical styles that will appeal to anyone.”

“As a matter of fact, anyone who’s had a baby — or even been one — should enjoy this musical.”
Tickets for “Baby” are $12 for adults and $5 for children/students and are general admission. They will be available at the door one hour before each performance. For more information, call (828) 898-8709.

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