By Chuck Graham, TucsonStage.com
photo by Nick Smallwood
From left, the cast is Renata Rauschen, Michael F. Woodson, Grace Otto, Laurance McCormick, Candace Bean and Damien Garcia.
Just the idea of seeing a play about a man and woman in their 50s falling in love in hippie-filled San Francisco in 1965 with a newborn baby between them will have some people smiling.
It isn't the couple's baby, but they are the adults in charge to keep the sit-com jokes flowing through Roadrunner Theatre Company's production of “Be My Baby” by Ken Ludwig (“Lend Me A Tenor”). Linda Andresano is the director.
Michael F. Woodson is going for the gusto as the bristly Scottish patriot John Campbell, strong of opinion and set in his ways. Proud of her proper London sophistication is Maud Kinch (Renata Rauschen), determined not to be swayed by John's uncouth steamroller approach to life.
Providing the counterpoint of young lovers barely in their 20s are Gloria Nance (Grace Otto) and Christy McCall (Laurance McCormick).
Ludwig constructed this rom-com romp as a series of short scenes that keep the Roadrunner stage crew hopping. You can imagine your own TV commercial breaks during the many set changes, which are also augmented by music from the early 1960s, turning “Be My Baby” into kind of a nostalgia piece, as well.
There are lots of nooks and crannies to the plot which begins in Scotland with Maud visiting her niece Gloria and boyfrend Christy, who happens to be the ward of John, manager of the estate where Gloria and Christy are living (once they get married).
A bit of unlikely bad luck sets up the situation forcing the ill-paired Maud and John, who can't stand each other, to visit San Francisco to pick up an orphan infant they will deliver to Gloria and Christy for adoption.
As Maud and John have most of the play's misadventures in that counterculture City by the Bay, all the while being drawn closer together through their mutual concerns for the baby, back in Scotland Gloria and Christy are having some problems of their own.
Doing yeoman’s work to keep all these comedy balls in the air by playing a variety of eccentric waiters, maids, bellhops, etc. are Candace Bean and Damian Garcia. It is to these actors' credit that all their bit parts remain distinctly different, keeping the plot lines clear and their laughs rolling.
“Be My Baby” runs through May 14 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., in the Roadrunner Theatre, 8892 E. Tanque Verde Road.
Tickets are $20, with various discounts. For details and reservations visit roadrunnertheatrecompany.org or 502-207-2491.