This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

23Aug/14

BABY GIRL

Fringe

Christa Meyers (l.) is delightful as a young woman investigating her sexuality and family history in Fringe hit BABY GIRL

New York International Fringe Festival
The Kraine Theater
25 East Fourth St. between Second Ave. & Bowery
Sunday, August 24, $18, 12 noon
www.fringenyc.org
www.babygirltheplay.com

Conceived during a New York City writing workshop, writer-director Kim Ehly’s semiautobiographical Baby GirL became a hit in South Florida and has now come north for the eighteenth annual New York International Fringe Festival, where it plays its last of five performances on August 24 at noon at the Kraine Theater. That’s not a typo in the title; Ehly wants to emphasize the “L” in LGBT, a community she has been part of for many years. Baby GirL is about a young woman sharing her compelling, and very funny, story about being adopted, coming out as a lesbian, and going in search of her birth mother, ranging from 1968 to 1995. Christa Meyers is delightful as Ashley, easily gliding between re-created scenes from her life and speaking directly to the audience as her character explores her sexuality and family history; it’s easy to see how she recently played Vanda in a Cleveland production of Venus in Fur. (An unfortunate distraction, however, was that Meyers slowly sweat through two gray shirts during the show; hopefully the costume designer has since adjusted her wardrobe so the focus can remain where it belongs, on her splendid performance.) The other seven members of the uniformly strong cast all portray multiple roles, including Amy Bizjak as Ashley’s adoptive mother and birth mother, Joe Wissler as her adoptive father and husband of her birth mother, Samuel Floyd as various men in her life, and Nori Tecosky as her current girlfriend and other women, in addition to Jessica Farr and Noah Levine, but it’s Lucy McMichael who nearly steals the show, playing a series of mostly bitter and cranky old ladies; after a few of them, just her mere appearance onstage as a new character gets much-deserved laughs. A production of Ehly’s Fort Lauderdale-based Kutumba Theatre Project, BabyGirL might not delve too deeply below the surface, but it has an inviting, charming warmth that is just right for the Fringe.

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