Talented Cast, Poetic Dialogue Make ‘Electric Baby’ a Thoughtful Diversion

9faebb12915ad63c3e36_4a1ea339306f143e0185_stock_image_-_arts_-_v2.jpg
9faebb12915ad63c3e36_4a1ea339306f143e0185_stock_image_-_arts_-_v2.jpg

SUMMIT - Dreamcatchers Repertory Theatre has taken on a thought provoking drama in "Electric Baby," two-act play by Stephanie Zadravee.

The plot starts off on a relatively light note, as the mother, Natalia, portrayed by Beth Painter, hovers over her baby in a crib, while alternately offering old Romanian folk tales. Like how to put a banana peel on your forehead if you’re starting to cough.

Almost all her solutions involve some kind of food. One of them has the person putting two raw potatoes under his arm pits. Painter is very entertaining, at times poignant, as she tries to entertain her child. Still, we see ultimately that something is wrong and the child may be dying.

Sign Up for E-News

From that rather enchanting initial scene, we shift to Helen and Reed Casey, who are leaving a party and arguing as they go. Then Helen steps out into the road, causing an accident that lands the driver, Ambimbola, in the hospital.  Harriett Trangucci and Scott McGowan are the sparring couple. They play off each other effectively, with Reed as the long suffering husband and Helen refusing to recover after their child’s death. Trangucci carries off  the role effectively, initially high strung and annoying, but gradually learning to let go through a variety of interactions.

It also seems that someone has been killed in this fluke accident. Andre DeSandies as Ambimbola delivers sage advice when he has the chance and does a wonderful job of engaging and disengaging others. Rozie, played by Sandy Sainvil, is the young woman who visits him. Sainvil has plenty of spark and presence to bring off this many-sided character. It appears she also has a relationship with Reed, Helen’s husband. Harry Patrick Christian appears in a variety of roles, as Dan, Don, and Dave. In some scenes, he has an intense interaction with Rozie, in another he visits Natalia and her child.

The play is set in Pittsburgh, where, surprisingly, one person says, there are tourists Many of these relationships are fragmented, especially Reed and Helen. But ultimately, their dysfunction leads to a new understanding of each other. Helen overcomes her fractured disconnect after the accident. Although the plot is convoluted, the message of hope comes through.

Directed by Laura Dern, the play moves along smoothly, with set and lighting design by Zach Pizza. The electric grids make a statement about moonlight and imagined locations. Zadravec is a playwright worth remembering. She wraps it all up with a certain mythology. But it definitely takes a high-caliber cast to bring off the timing and subtleties in this absorbing production.

For tickets, call 1-800-838-3006 or visit DreamcatcherRep.org. The Electric Baby continues through Oct. 18.  

Liz Keill reviews professional theatre in the New Jersey area, ranging from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. In addition to writing for Tapinto.net, she does theatre analysis for HometowneTV in Summit. She holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from Penn State and a Master's in Communication from Syracuse University. Liz is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which holds seminars at regional theatres across the country as well as in New York City.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 18, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Union County Honored for History Projects

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that two national achievement recognitions for history projects have been presented to the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Union County is rich in history, and this Freeholder Board is committed to engaging the public with ...

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

CRANFORD, NJ – With over 150 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $55,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Fri, July 20, 8:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7b4ac10bfb421f5091c7_vinyasaclass

Fri, July 20, 9:15 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Fri, July 20, 10:30 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e7f53aa67b8e7cb310c5_vinyasaclass

Fri, July 20, 6:30 PM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...