A double dose of laughter

ALMOST, MAINE Cast members Ryan Phillips (left) and Kate Metroka (right) team up with BABY WITH THE BATHWATER cast member Leah Costello during rehearsals for the two comedies being presented on alternating nights from February 24 to March 7. Photo by Rob Perry courtesy UM Media relations

Extreme family dysfunction and the difficulties of falling in and out of love are subjects for comedy in the two plays currently showing at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre.

The first play, Christopher Durang’s “Baby With the Bathwater,” is a dark satire on the difficulties and failures of parents. Among many appalling blunders, they name their son “Daisy” because they find it impolite to check his gender. The audience is moved first to sympathy, but eventually laughter, as Daisy somehow endures his upbringing.

The second play, John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine” charmingly follows nine stories that take place after residents of a remote town fall in and out of love under the magic of the Northern Lights. The characters find themselves in complicated situations as they try to negotiate these unexpected relationships.

The two full-length plays, which are being performed in
alternating repertory by the University of Miami’s Department of Theatre Arts, feature very different styles of comedy while exploring the highs and lows of close relationships.

“‘Baby With the Bathwater’ takes bad parenting to the extreme and forces one to find forgiveness,” said Bliss Griffin, a senior acting major and performer in ‘Baby.’ “‘Almost, Maine’ is full of the hope and coincidence of falling in love… It’s like [the movie] Love Actually.”

Audience and cast members agree that characters from both plays are relatable.

“Parents see their own mistakes in it,” Lou Douglas said, father of ‘Baby With the Bathwater’ cast member, Grace Douglas. “[But] if you can find a sense of humor, it can help you with the bad things in life and ultimately keep you healthier.”

David Sargent may be contacted at dsargent@themiamihurricane.com.


What: “Almost, Maine” and “Baby with the Bathwater“- two comedies by the Department of Theatre Arts

When: Showing in alternating repertory now until Sun., March 7.

“Baby with the Bathwater”- March 4 and 6 at 8 p.m. and March 7 at 2 p.m.

“Almost, Maine”– March 3 and 5 8 p.m. and March 6 at 2 p.m.

Where: Jerry Herman Ring Theatre

Cost: $8 children and students (with Cane Card); $16 adults; $14 senior/faculty/staff
Note: Advance tickets are currently sold out, but may become available to those on the waitlist. To join the waitlist, visit the Ring Theater box office one hour prior to show time.