30 DAYS OF NYMF: Day 16 Kiki Baby

Day 16 Kiki Baby
By Kitt Lavoie, co-book writer

The story of Kiki Baby began about a year before I saw my first musical. The tale of how it came to be has been handed down to me in bits and pieces by any number of people who have been involved in its evolution - and every time I think I have the whole story, I am surprised to hear tell of some other person who had played Maladin in a reading that I didn't know had happened, or to see a worn copy of a scene discarded fifteen years ago, or to hear a snippet of a song that had ended Act I for about two rehearsals in a workshop sometime last decade.

As best as I have been able to piece it together, Kiki's journey began about twenty years ago when producer Jeff Passero came across the book Sing, Brat, Sing by Rene Fulop Miller and approached director Lonny Price about making it into a musical. Lonny teamed with a group of collaborators (and friends) and put pen to paper writing what was then called Entourage (and perhaps would still be called Entourage were it not for the HBO series!).

In the intervening years, Kiki Baby - the story of a four year old singing sensation and the family, friends, and employees (and family and friends who become employees!) who surround her - has grown up through the devotion and rigor of the creators and the generous collaborators who have believed in the show and its message.

My first encounter with Kiki was at the 2007 Primary Stages workshop. I was fascinated by the ambition of the piece - by a show that set out to explore ideas as large and diverse as what happens when financial desperation turns suddenly into fame and fortune, what happens to children when no one will parent them, and what happens to a person when they surrender their personal values to a "greater" cause. And I was especially compelled by the fact that the piece set out to explore those big ideas in the form of a raucous comedy with a full-grown (and very tall!) adult actress playing the titular child star.

And so, after three years of casual conversations returning to the topic of Kiki Baby, I was delighted when Lonny asked me to join him as co-librettist (and a pair of fresh eyes) on this latest leg of the journey. Indeed, I am very proud to be one of the newest additions to the Kiki family. And the family has continued to grow with fantastic additions to our production team, a thrilling new orchestrator and vocal arranger, and an absolutely stunning cast.

It has taken a village to raise this Kiki Baby. And now, together, we're thrilled to send her out into the world...

To buy tickets or to learn more about Kiki Baby visit www.nymf.org/kikibaby or call 212-352-3101


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