What a joy it is to see this little gem of a musical — “Baby” — with its lovely score and clever lyrics, played by a top-notch cast. Cherry Creek Theatre has scored again!
“Baby,” with book by Sybil Pearson, based on a story developed with Susan Yankowitz, music by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr., is a pleasing contrast to the prevailing mega-musicals that are on the road. But is does mean each actor must shine — and they do.
Three couples each expect a baby and have different reactions and subsequent stories. An ensemble fills in assorted other roles with skill. Director Pat Payne has pulled the production into a fine-tuned package in the attractive but limited space at Shaver Ramsey Rug Showroom, with a pair of pianos tucked to the side and production logistics enhanced by veteran designer/director Richard Pegg.
Choreography by Piper Arpan is low-key and fits the space.
Alan and Arlene (Brian Walker Smith and Megan Van De Hay) are a mature couple with three grown daughters. She is alarmed and contemplating abortion, while he is thrilled at the prospect of a tiny new family member. Nick and Pam (Scott Severtson and Shannon Steele) are 30-something active sports people who are having trouble conceiving, and college juniors Danny and Lizzie (Drew Hirschenboeck and Emily Ann Luhrs) have just moved in together are not ready for a child — but adjust their lives and ambitions in quite mature ways.
Each of these characters is presented with depth and skill, which makes an evening of satisfying theater. Many in the audience will relate to some part of these stories.
Each story is appealing, touching and, in particular, about love, without being cloyingly sweet.
The ensemble fills in assorted characters, notably Ben Dicke’s doctor who tries to advise Nick and Pam in a particularly inept manner.
"Baby” plays through June 23 at Shaver-Ramsey Showroom, 2414 East Third Ave., Denver. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays; 6:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $28/$25. 303-800-6578, cherrycreektheatre.org. (We’d suggest advance reservations on this one as seating is limited.)