If you are looking for a NYMF show to see, go see "Baby Case" with a book, lyrics, and music by Michael Ogborn, direction by Jeremy Dobrish, and choreography by Warren Adams. "Baby Case" is a retelling of the Charles Lindbergh, Jr. kidnapping and subsequent murder trial, the first true media circus of the 20th Century.
So many things about this show are great! The book, the music, the cast, are all delightful! Going into this show, I didn't know much about the Charles Lindbergh, Jr. case, but now I want to know so much more. Michael has written a show that is gripping and emotional, with just enough humor interspersed. The whole cast was a delight to watch! They are all very talented with great singing voices. Will Reynolds was spectacular as "Charles Lindbergh/Bruno Hauptmann". He did a great job differentiating between his two characters. His vocals are some of the strongest male vocals I have heard in a while, especially when he sang "No, I Never Did," "Over the Sea," and "Scapegoat." Anika Larsen was exquisite as "Anne Morrow Lindbergh/Anna Hauptmann." From her acting to her pitch-perfect singing, Anika always shines bright! She really lit up the stage during "Lullaby," "Unmerciful Hearts," and "One Little Boy," but it was her trial scene as "Anne Morrow Lindbergh" where Anika really excelled! Melissa van der Schyff was radiant as "Violet Sharpe," especially when she triumphed on "Dirty Dishes." It was quite a powerful scene. I also throughly enjoyed Jason Collins in his multiple roles of "Detective Schiable/Father Coughlin/Walter Lyle/David Wilentz." He too distinguished himself very well. It was wonderful that he got some solo moments to sing. Throughout the show, Patricia Noonan ("Betty Gow/Ginger Rogers") and Hannah Elless ("Emily Sharpe/Adela St. Johns") hit all the right notes! I loved their vocals and am glad they each got showcased. Patricia started things off to a great start with "Nurse's Song." She knows how to work it! Hannah was terrific on "Hour of Gold." She really held her own. Michael Thomas Holmes showcased himself perfectly as "Walter Winchell." He worked that stage and made me take notice of him and his talent. Eugene Barry-Hill, Matthew Myers, and Kurt Zischke all did a really good job, with each having a few moments of their own to stand-out.
I felt very involved in the story, excited to find out what would happen next! I definitely could see this show having more of a life after NYMF. As much as I loved this show, there were a few numbers that didn't move me "Baby Case" and "Trial Drinking Song." I think if this show moves, it would be interesting to see if it could work without those two songs. I think "Trial Drinking Song" could be done with just the speaking part that started the song.
"Baby Case" is a good musical, with a strong book, music, and cast! I felt as though I sat through an original musical with much potential for a future run! "Baby Case" plays at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street) through this Sunday, July 22. Click here for tickets!