On Saturday, October 15, I attend a triple threat show called "Kiki Baby" as part of the 2011 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). What made this show a triple threat was the well written book, great music, and very talented cast! Written by Lonny Price and Kitt Lavoie, with music by Grant Sturiale, and lyrics by Lonny Price and Grant Sturiale, "Kiki Baby," tells the tale of fame, fortune, and how a 4-year old girl went from being the baby of a sweatshop worker to international star!
Leading this wonderful cast was the extremely talented, Outer Critics Circle Award Nominee, and fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant Jenn Colella, who shines ever so brightly when she is on stage! Jenn's acting was superb as she very convincely played 4-year-old "Kiki Baby" and her voice was in prime shape, as usual! Jenn's vocals are always powerful and strong, leaving me wanting more!
Also standing out of the crowd were Megan Lawrence, Jill Paice, Jennifer Laura Thompson, and Louis Hobson. Megan used her brilliant comedic character skills in the role of "Frau Dangl," "Kiki Baby's" security guard. seen in the Broadway revival of "Hair," as "Claude's Mom," Megan's comedy was very refreshing to see as was hearing her wonderful voice! Jill Paice and Louis Hobson were great as "Christine" and "Maladin," "Kiki Baby's" mother and father. Jill's big voice echoed throughout the theatre while her dramatic moments were felt throughout the audience! Louis' acting and vocals went hand-in-hand as he brought the voice of reason into "Kiki Baby's" life as she was flying high on fame. Jennifer Laura Thompson was also well cast as "Marina," the failed Opera diva. Jennifer's voice is fierce and reaches some of the highest notes I've ever heard! When Jennifer sang, people listened!
Lonny and Kitt wrote a very smart book that shows what happens to some people when they receive instant fame, both children and adults alike, as well as how important it is for parents to teach their children the basic fundamentals of life: kindness towards others, gratitude for what you have, polite manners, and the meaning of "no."
While I might not have left the theatre humming any of the songs, I still thought the score was well written because while I was watching the show, each song fit perfectly for the moment it was being sung. I don't always believe you need to remember every song to be considered a good score.
I can't talk about "Kiki Baby" and not give a shout out to my friend and fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant Billy Mitchell who did a brilliant job of designig the poster for the show! In addition to designing the poster for "Kiki Baby," Billy designed the poster for theatrical release of "Company," which was directed by Lonny Price!
I think it's so wonderful how Lonny casts and enlists those he's worked with in the past! It's evident, Lonny Price knows talent, and it's great he uses so many wonderful people! I wish I was able to catch an earlier viewing of this show, but if "Kiki Baby" does come back around, I would suggest going to see it!