Review: THE BABY MONITOR at Santa Fe Playhouse

The Baby Monitor is powerful, raw and must-see. Get your tickets now. Running. March 2 - April 1

DISNEY'S ALADDIN To Play Albuquerque Limited Premiere Engagement, June 7- June 11 at Popejoy Hall

The Baby Monitor by David Stallings

Santa Fe Playhouse. Now playing through April 1.

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Every day the world gets scarier and scarier for the LGBTQ community. Banning of drag, hatecrimes, protests at pride parades, uneducated vitriol being spewed by disgusting politicians are just a few of the things our fellow citizens have had to deal with of late. It seems like even a word uttered at the wrong time can set off a chain of irreversible events.

That's the basic story of The Baby Monitor, now playing at Santa Fe Playhouse. The play, written by (and featuring) David Stallings, tells the story of Damon and Phillip (David Stallings and Antonio Miniño), two New England dads raising their young son with the help of their nanny Soledad (Laura Gómez). The action opens on Thanksgiving, with Damon's cousin Claire (Alexandra Renzo) and her husband Josh (Patrick Janssen) visiting for the holiday.

It's clear from the start that Damon and Claire come from a conservative family, most of whom do not approve of his same-sex lifestyle and partner. Claire holds herself up as that one "ally" who will always be in Damon's corner - after all, she protected him all through Catholic school and sees herself as his savior. Claire has not escaped the conservatism of her family, however, as witnessed by her posture when Damon and Philip share an affectionate peck or cuddle. She becomes more uncomfortable when looking through a family album and seeing a photo of a naked Damon holding his baby boy in the shower.

Both Claire and Soledad share their discomfort and disapproval with one another, which sets the stage for the drama to unfold. Claire gives Soledad her cell phone number and tells her to call if she sees anything that could be considered inappropriate behavior. To avoid spoilers, suffice it to say that words loom large and can be misinterpreted to create cataclysmic, horrendous problems for Damon and Philip as parents.

The staging for this show was strange at first - all of the audience is seated on the perimeter of the stage, with the performance space in the center. This created a very claustrophobic and confrontational space at times throughout the show, which really enhanced the words being spoken. Stallings and Miniño are both convincing and raw as the couple besieged on all sides, by both the audience and the people in their lives. Kudos to director Colin Hovde for creating a space that helps to make the tension almost unbearable at times.

Strong supporting performances from Janssen as Josh, Claire's beleaguered husband who is definitely more accepting and more liberal than Claire. He seems to truly love her and want to help her work through her prejudices. Aaluk Edwardson as Shelly offers some of the (much needed) humorous parts of the production, as Damon and Philip's best friend.

The women at the center of the conflict - Renzo and Gómez - turn in performances that are powerful and, at times, difficult to watch. Renzo as Claire captures the bigotry and privilege many white women display, while playacting at being an ally to the LGBTQ community. It's a testament to Renzo that she is such an unlikeable character here, and willing to go to those depths necessary to be a really despicable person. Gómez has the toughest job in the show, having to balance being treated as "the help," while knowing she gave this couple the ultimate gift, even though she is at odds with same sex marriage and relationships.

The Baby Monitor is both timely and tough - the idea that gay couples are so unsafe in our society that even an unfounded accusation could shatter their world doesn't seem too far from something that could happen at any time in our world. This production is a must-see and one of the strongest pieces to ever come out of the Santa Fe Playhouse. Get your tickets now.


Spencer Theater Holds John Mueller's WINTER DANCE PARTY Next Weekend

Spencer Theater kicks-off its summer season of shows Saturday, June 3 with John Mueller’s “Winter Dance Party”®, the official live and authentic re-creation of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper’s final tour.

DISNEY'S ALADDIN To Play Albuquerque Limited Premiere Engagement, June 7- June 11 at Popejoy Hall

Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, and Popejoy Presents Haverland Carter Broadway in New Mexico are pleased to announce casting for the Albuquerque engagement of Disney's ALADDIN. The hit Broadway musical comedy will begin performances in Albuquerque at Popejoy Hall on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 for a limited engagement of seven performances through Sunday, June 11, 2023.    

Review: SWEAT at Santa Fe Playhouse

Get your tickets NOW to Sweat at Santa Fe Playhouse - it's a powerful, gripping and fantastic night at the theater!

Teatro Paraguas to Host The Orchard Quartet Poetry Reading This Month

Teatro Paraguas will host The Orchard Quartet Poetry Reading on Sunday May 28 at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are free.

From This Author - Jackie Camborde

Jackie Camborde, Santa Fe, NM: Jackie has spent the majority of her career in the arts, mostly in fundraising and marketing. She is Director of Development for El Rancho de las Golondrinas, New Mexico... (read more about this author)


#repshow# in[i]# DRINKING HABITS
Adobe Theater (6/02-6/25)
Santa Fe Botanical Garden (7/27-8/20)
#repshow# in[i]# Seascape
New Mexico Actors Lab (9/06-9/24)
#repshow# in[i]# The Nether
New Mexico Actors Lab (10/11-10/29)
#repshow# in[i]# Morning Sun
New Mexico Actors Lab (6/07-6/25)
#repshow# in[i]# JQA
New Mexico Actors Lab (11/15-12/03)

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