World Premiere "BABE"

Reviewed by Nyla Arslanian

The Echo Theater Company's BABE aptly named, I'm guessing, for how women were referred to in the early days of the modern record business. 

Attending the play with my husband, a former record company executive, his take was that Gus (Sal Viscuso) hit the nail on the head as the embodiment of the rough and tumble pre-MeToo era.

The play opens with a job interview with Gus, Abigail (Julie Dretzin) and Kaitlyn (Wylie Anderson) , the wide - eyed young college grad seeking to get a toehold in the music business. While every cliché imaginable is delivered, the exchange rings true to form for anyone who was privy to that scene.

Julie Dretzin's role as the dutiful, unacknowledged assistant, Abigail, as much in the know as Gus, is a character is more complex than that of the young Kaitlyn. Challenged with illness, losing her love, hit maker recording artist Cat Wonder, a part played well, but somewhat confusingly by Wylie Anderson who manages the two roles. Still the play works. Gus gets his comeuppance and Abigail gets his job. Yet female rage continues as Kaitlyn and Abigail seek to forge a new place for women in the still male-dominated business.  

A fine ensemble piece with the three actors solid and sure footed in their roles filling the spar s e stage, well configured by set designer Amanda Knehans . Worthy of particular mention is the sound design by Alysha Bermudez that sets the stage for what will follow.  

Although more clarification of the dual Kaitlyn/Cat roles would be helpful, BABE, written by Jessica Goldberg and well directed by Chris Fields is satisfying and thought-provoking theatre. A notable undertaking by The Echo Theater Company, this world premiere continues at the Atwater Village Theatre through October 24.   

Posted By Nyla Arslanian on September 27, 2022 08:20 pm | Permalink