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Cal High’s ‘Baby with the Bathwater’ succeeds.

Senior+Kieran+O%27Connor+and+junior+Jillian+Weber+playing+their+roles+as+Helen+and+John+in+the+outstanding+performance+last+week.+
Senior Kieran O'Connor and junior Jillian Weber playing their roles as Helen and John in the outstanding performance last week.

Senior Kieran O'Connor and junior Jillian Weber playing their roles as Helen and John in the outstanding performance last week.

Photo by Shirin Afrakheth

Photo by Shirin Afrakheth

Senior Kieran O'Connor and junior Jillian Weber playing their roles as Helen and John in the outstanding performance last week.

Rhea Saini, Staff Writer

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Never before have Cal High students witnessed such raunchy, dark, and vulgar humor as seen Friday night inBaby with the Bathwater.”

There were jokes about babies getting run over by buses, mothers popping anti depressants like there’s no tomorrow, and sexual innuendos so risqué that mothers were having to take their children and run out of the theater.

I’m just kidding, nobody actually fled from the performance. However, there was a masurbation joke that came close to doing just that.

Nevertheless, I was in love with every scene and I have to say there was not a single moment in which I wasn’t captivated.

I’ve never really been into theater but this stellar performance will definitely have me coming back.

I am genuinely surprised to say how much I loved this play about a pair of dysfunctional parents and a child caught in the middle. From the phenomenal acting done by junior Jillian Weber in her portrayal of the mother, Helen, to the hilarious one liners delivered by senior Kieran O’Connor, who played her husband, John, to the crude humor that all high schoolers can relate to. 

The play was about two parents, John and Helen, who had just had baby and had no clue how to raise it. They end up misidentifying the baby’s gender thinking that it’s a girl when in reality it was actually a boy. As a result they name the baby Daisy and cause him a lifetime of pain.

But, they don’t do this alone. With the help of Nanny and some other random characters who show up along the way, they all equally contribute to screwing up this child’s life.

In the end Daisy turns out to be alright, he drops out of college, marries a woman named Susan, played by junior Kadi Calcagno and has a kid. This just goes to show that no matter how messed up your life is, there is always a chance to turn it around.

The entire cast spoke fluently and acted to the point where it was believable but not overdone. In particular Weber was not afraid to raise her voice in order to throw a tantrum which was always hilarious to witness.

Senior Brennan Osborn did a great job of playing an emotionally messed -up kid, who in the end powered through and turned out OK. It was fascinating to watch all the actors get so into the performance.

The costumes were also very interesting, everybody was dressed from the 1960s even though the play took place in modern day. Presumably this was to depict the struggles of a so called ‘Nuclear family.’ Though they may look perfect from the outside, everything was chaotic and unstable on the inside. 

On top of that the set was equally as amazing, it was colorful and bright and wacky just like the play. 

The dialogue was also done very well, they kept most of the original dialogue from Christopher Durang’s play. But the script was updated some of the references, such as the mentioning of Donald Trump, so that everybody could understand them.

The PG-13 rating was definitely appropriate due to the innuendos and humor. But the language was utilized well. It didn’t seem like the actors were unnecessarily swearing because the dialogue remained funny.   

 

Before the main performance, there were a series of monologues and songs performed by the talented cast in Act One.

There was Calcagno singing “Rocky the Musical” with her beautiful falsetto followed by senior Hannah Chylinski performing a very difficult monologue from “Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike.” Chylinski, who also played the Nanny in “Baby with the Bathwater,” was amazing at changing her emotions so quickly that even the audience could barely keep up.

Next was one of my personal favorites, “Good People”, performed by seniors Emily Cardanini and River Jordan Moore. The scene itself was a bit confusing to follow at first however, the chemistry between the two actors made up for that by keeping the audience enthralled.

Afterwards was “Tanner Buttz” which was actually written by Cal High’s very own senior Danaka Katovich. The scene was performed by senior Laura Augustinsky and junior Daniella Muhlebach. It was a comical bit about a librarian making fun of a student trying to check out books. What made it even funnier was all the political jokes thrown in such as, “I’m a democrat, I can’t be racist.”

Next Kieran O’Connor, who was also John from “Baby with the Bathwater,” sang a song from “The Little Mermaid” which basically showed the audience that not only was he a remarkable actor, but a phenomenal singer as well.

The next monologue, “Water By The Spoonful”, was one of the more emotional and moving pieces. Moore excellently played the role of a jaded man who still blamed his mother for the death of his sister. It was a very raw and vulnerable scene, and later Moore revealed that he’d been studying the monologue for months because of how draining it was.

The following scene was “Super Victim” which was done by Augustinsky. This was one of the funnier scenes and not just because of the dialogue, but also because Augustinsky has a knack for delivering her lines naturally and with just the right amount of humor.

Afterwards was “Rabbit Hole” which was performed by Chylinkski and senior Paula Lazarova. The storyline was a woman talking to her sister about getting into a bar fight, only to reveal that she was pregnant by some other woman’s boyfriend. Both Chylinski and Lazarova were very natural in their roles and delivered their lines well.

Next was “God Complex” written again, by Katovich and performed by senior Michael Padilla and junior Jordan Limesand. This was another personal favorite, not only because of the political humor but also because of Padilla’s outrageous representation of God as an alcoholic asshole.

The last performance was by Augustinsky in which she sang a song from “A New Brain”. She also proved to not only be a talented actress but an exceptional singer as well.

 

Overall I would rate this play four out of four grizzly paws because I’m glad that Cal High took a risk and performed such a dark and absurd comedy. It definitely payed off.

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The School Newspaper for California High School, San Ramon CA
Cal High’s ‘Baby with the Bathwater’ succeeds.