- OnStage Chief New York Theatre Critic
Falling somewhere between a cheap Penny Dreadful and a horrific Sci-Fi B-movie, Michael Paul Wirsch’s “The Curse of the Babywoman” (hereafter “The Curse”) has found its way onto the stage of the Lower East Side’s Teatro SEA as part of FringeNYC 2016.
The residents of Shrubtown live in fear of the hoard of shapeless, formless babies who haunt the woods at night waiting to gum their victims with their toothless mouths and bring them under their spell. By day these vampire-like, werewolf-like creatures live alongside their neighbors unnoticed. But after sunset they morph into “babywomen” a fearful curse on the law-abiding citizens who frequent Bob’s Big Boy and savor the fast-food chain’s dog meat (one cannot make this stuff up – well someone did of course).
It is not necessary to share the cast of characters or their insipid conflicts or the thin plot those conflicts drive. The play’s characters have conflicts that drive a plot as absurd and dull as the puppet stage which provides the production’s “special effects.”
If “The Curse” is attempting to provide a trope for the repercussions of fearing the unknown, it does not succeed – the play is simply not that multi-layered nor that complex. If the play is trying to lift up the hearts and minds of people who do not hate what they do not understand, it does not succeed there either – the play is too convoluted to support that important theme.
“The Curse” is not well written, it is not well directed, and it leaves the unfortunate cast adrift in one hour and forty-five minutes of nonsense. There is no reason to see this woebegone play.
THE CURSE OF THE BABYWOMAN
“The Curse of the Babywoman” is presented by The New York International Fringe Festival and BIG Theatre Company at Teatro SEA at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, 2nd Floor (between Rivington and Delancey).
The cast of “The Curse of the Babywoman” features Alexandra Brown, Kurt Cruz, Ryan DeForeest, Ali McGhee, Sarah Misch, David Nackman, Taylor Pedane, Alexa Peyton, and Justin Phillips. Production photos by Hunter Pedane.
For more information about the show including performance dates, the cast, and creative team, please visit http://www.bigtheatre.org/. For more information about the 20th Annual New York Fringe Festival visit www.FringeNYC.org. Running time 1 hour and 45 minutes with one 10-minute intermission.
Pictured: Allie Brown, Ali McGhee, Mike Wirsch, Taylor Pedane, Sarah Misch, Kurt Cruz, Ryan DeForeest, Alexa Peyton, and Justin Phillips. Photographer: Hunter Pedane.