Aired on KSDS-FM on 11/25/16
RUN DATES: 11/13/16 – 12/11/16
VENUE: Moxie Theatre
The decision about whether and when to become parents is private, personal, even political. For lesbian couples, there are no potential accidents or pregnancy surprises. Every step must be judiciously planned.
So, when two best-bud duos get together, and one pair breaks out the pre-natal champagne, the four-way relationships become both charged and threatened.
Sarah Gubbins, an L.A.-based playwright and screenwriter, sets her award-winning 2011 comic drama in her Chicago hometown. Like much of her work, it focuses on LGBT identity, and in this case, the uncertainties about bringing a child into a judgmental, homophobic world. The topic couldn’t be more timely.
Gubbins’ writing is sharp and incisive. The quips fly fast in the first act, and then things take a serious turn. Her twosomes may fall into a stereotypically butch-femme form, but her play is deliciously unpredictable.
Moxie Theatre dives into the mix with unbridled relish. Director Kym Pappas helms an outstanding cast, each creating a flawed and convincing character. I know each of these women, and the sperm donor they’ve chosen, a former college pal who, 15 years later, remains good-hearted but adrift.
The most controversial among them is the smart, smug and supercilious Darcy, linguistically adroit, fastidiously dressed in a suit and tie, polemical and self-assured, though that turns out to mask her ambivalence, self-doubt, maybe even self-loathing. Jo Anne Glover makes her compulsively watchable, the fulcrum of all the action, the one who takes the most bumpy and compelling emotional journey.
The rest of the cast – Anna Rebek, Katherine Harroff, Sarah Karpicus and Connor Sullivan – keeps us amused, engaged and aghast.
The excellent scenic design, nicely lit, makes the Moxie stage looks expansive, a sprawling, high-end condo with a stunning view of the Windy City. The costumes are perfectly character-defining.
And the issues, well, you’re likely to learn a thing or two, or see things a different way, or find fuel for discussion. In these fraught political times, the questions posed in “The Kid Thing” seem more pointed and trenchant than ever.
©2016 PAT LAUNER, San Diego Theater Reviews