×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

And Baby Makes Seven

"Baby" is the tale of a thoroughly modern threesome: pregnant Anna (Cherry Jones), her lover Ruth (Mary Mara) and their extremely good friend Peter (Peter Frechette), the father-to-be.

With:
Peter ... Peter Frechette Ruth ... Mary Mara Anna ... Cherry Jones Spinning contemporary tales about people whose reality constantly shifts between the mundane and the imagined, Paula Vogel demands a lot of an audience. She doesn't always tie things up neatly, and when she does, it's usually not until the end. In some cases, the payoff is big, as in her memorable "The Baltimore Waltz" last year. With "And Baby Makes Seven," she demonstrates that even her lesser work has a theatrical, emotional punch.

“Baby” is the tale of a thoroughly modern threesome: pregnant Anna (Cherry Jones), her lover Ruth (Mary Mara) and their extremely good friend Peter (Peter Frechette), the father-to-be.

While it is true that more gay and lesbian couples are having children, it’s unlikely that the third party is typically so much a part of the bargain, as is the case here.

As it happens, Peter is not the real complicating factor in this household. Ruth and Anna enjoy a rich fantasy life in which they become three children who play, argue, provoke Peter and otherwise monkey around.

This drives Peter nuts, and it didn’t do much for this reviewer, either, though it’s clear that these kids — their evocative names are Cecil Bartholomew , Henri Dumont and Orphan McDermott — mean a great deal to Anna and Ruth.

The play turns on the women’s decision to dispatch Cecil, Henri and Orphan before the real baby arrives; they seem to believe that preparation for parenthood must include putting out the child within us, and of course the opposite is the case, as Vogel’s coda makes clear.

Popular on Variety

That’s where the punch is — a small one to be sure, in a small play that has some resonance.

The play is set in Derek McLane’s lovely vision of a New York loft (made lovelier by Peter Kaczorowski’s lighting, which almost always casts a dusky glow). Under Calvin Skaggs’ direction, the three fine actors honor the script by taking it seriously and giving it their considerable all.

And Baby Makes Seven

(Lucille Lortel Theater, New York; 299 seats; $ 35 top)

Production: A Circle Repertory Co. presentation, by special arrangement with Lucille Lortel, of a play in two acts by Paula Vogel; director, Calvin Skaggs.

Creative: Set, Derek McLane; costumes, Walker Hicklin; lighting, Peter Kaczorowski; sound, Donna Riley; incidental music, Evan Morris; artistic director, Tanya Berezin; managing director, Abigail Evans. Opened, reviewed May 6, 1993.

Cast: Peter ... Peter Frechette Ruth ... Mary Mara Anna ... Cherry Jones Spinning contemporary tales about people whose reality constantly shifts between the mundane and the imagined, Paula Vogel demands a lot of an audience. She doesn't always tie things up neatly, and when she does, it's usually not until the end. In some cases, the payoff is big, as in her memorable "The Baltimore Waltz" last year. With "And Baby Makes Seven," she demonstrates that even her lesser work has a theatrical, emotional punch.

More Legit

  • Jonathan Pryce

    Jonathan Pryce on Early Roles, Reading Reviews and Advice He Got From Lee Strasberg

    Jonathan Pryce, who has done memorable work for 40-plus years, hits a career high in “The Two Popes,” a complex look at Francis, played by Pryce, and Benedict, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins. Though Pryce has played well-known figures before, such as Juan Perón in the 1996 “Evita,” he was hesitant to take on Pope Francis [...]

  • Tracy Letts Ford V Ferrari

    Tracy Letts on His Writing Routine and His Roles in 'Ford v Ferrari,' 'Little Women'

    Tracy Letts says he’s driven by the need to tell stories that showcase humanity. It’s a need that earned him a 2008 Pulitzer Prize for “August: Osage County” and led to his current Broadway play, “Linda Vista,” about a 50-year-old divorcé (played by Ian Barford) in the midst of a midlife crisis. Letts also brings the [...]

  • The Underlying Chris review

    Off Broadway Review: 'The Underlying Chris'

    Will Eno, the playwright behind “Thom Pain (based on nothing)” and “The Realistic Joneses,” goes full ­­existential in his ambitious new play, “The Underlying Chris,” by following an Everyperson character named Chris/Christine/Christopher, et al, from cradle to grave. Disconcertingly at first, this protean person is alternately played by both male and female performers. But before [...]

  • & Juliet review

    West End Review: '& Juliet'

    From “Wicked” to “Waitress,” female empowerment has been a boon for musical theater. But where those shows veered between sincerely earnest and earnestly sincere, “& Juliet” gleefully goes for broke putting gender on the agenda as it yokes pop milestones from the likes of Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Celine Dion to a girl-power revamp [...]

  • Ephraim Sykes participates in the 73rd

    Michael Jackson Musical Finds Its King of Pop

    Tony Award nominee Ephraim Sykes will moonwalk on Broadway, playing Michael Jackson in “MJ The Musical.” The show, which its the Great White Way after a rocky gestation. It begins previews on July 6, 2020, at the Neil Simon Theatre with an official opening set for Aug. 13. Sykes is currently appearing in another pop [...]

  • A Christmas Carol review

    Broadway Review: 'A Christmas Carol'

    Those expecting a traditional take on Charles Dickens’ classic holiday perennial may be in for a shock at the new Broadway version of “A Christmas Carol.” Or at least they might be terribly perplexed by this dour production, whose additions only subtract from the potency of the transformative tale. While there have been many adaptations [...]

  • Timothee Chalamet poses for photographers at

    Timothée Chalamet to Make London Stage Debut With Eileen Atkins in '4000 Miles'

    Timothee Chalemet is set to take to the London stage for the first time, appearing next spring in Amy Herzog’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play “4000 Miles.” Matthew Warchus will direct the production at The Old Vic, which will also star Eileen Atkins (“The Crown,” “Gosford Park”). The play opens April 2020. It turns on the story [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content