Baby with the Bathwater Press

How not to parent is theme of wild play

“Baby With the Bathwater” is the kind of biting dark comedy where a tough-love nanny gives the baby a rattle made of asbestos, lead and Red Dye No. 2.

Jacki Dietz and Dan Fritz star in “Baby With the Bathwater.” Read more: http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20130809/News/308099884#ixzz3KB7avBjT

Jacki Dietz and Dan Fritz star in “Baby With the Bathwater.”

By Dan Kane
Posted Aug. 9, 2013 @ 12:01 am
Updated Aug 9, 2013 at 9:16 AM

“Baby With the Bathwater” is the kind of biting dark comedy where a tough-love nanny gives the baby a rattle made of asbestos, lead and Red Dye No. 2.

“It’s a wacky good time, but it’s real twisted. It’s a look at two new parents who don’t have a clue,” said Dan Fritz, who plays John Dingleberry, the young dad.

“It’s about how in the end every parent messes up their child — so get over it!” said Jacki Dietz, who plays novice mother Helen Dingleberry. “Plus, it’s hilarious. It’s not this big ball of catharsis that’s going to whack you around.”

Written by Christopher Durang and first staged off-Broadway in 1983, “Bathwater” will be presented Aug. 16, 17, 23 and 24 at downtown Canton’s Kathleen Howland Theatre. Doug Tennant, whose recent production of the comedy “Sordid Lives,” was a sold-out hit at the Howland, is directing.

As the play begins, the Dingleberrys have “just gotten home from the hospital with a newborn baby, and it’s sort of ‘Now what?’ ” Fritz said.

“There’s a lot of truth veiled in a lot of absurdity,” Dietz said about Durang’s script, which follows baby Daisy from infancy through adulthood.

About her role, she said, “The challenge is finding ways to make Helen likable. That’s not easy. One minute she’s sweet as pie, the next she turns all Joan Crawford on your (derriere), then she’s a sad little girl, then she’s this condescending hose beast. They all flip on a dime.”

The bottom line: “She’s a hot mess that should never have had children.”

John, the father, “has kind of the surfer-dude mentality. Nothing really bothers him,” Fritz said. “He’s also somewhat subservient. Helen definitely wears the pants.”

The outrageously inappropriate nanny, played by Tammy Zinkhon Hyde, “is insane and should never nanny children,” Dietz said.

“Christopher Durang is like a modern-day Jonathan Swift. His text is so completely insane, you can’t believe it’s being presented in such a normal way,” She continued. “I don’t think anyone will be offended. It’s too silly to be offensive.”

“It all does work out in the end, so the audience can sigh and know everything is okay,” Fritz said. He and Dietz concur that not cracking up laughing during rehearsals has been a major challenge.

Asked if “Baby With the Bathwater” is for mature audiences, Fritz said, “I’m not taking my 13-year-old daughter, even though she really wants to go.”

Also in the cast are Roman Feemster, Lauren Syverson, Linda Alexander-Radak, Patrice Rittenhouse, Ellen Fox, Bridget Bazzinotti, Robin Wilson and David Bowen.

Read more: http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20130809/News/308099884#ixzz3KB6Or9uS

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