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wiki:user:hayek.0_pittsburgh_play_-_electric_baby [2018/07/29 01:22] (current)
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 +Children are hope and in Stefanie Zadravec’s The Electric Baby hope is a bright, glowing orb that shines like the moon. For each parent, their lunar gift’s glow is unique and so it is no surprise that Quantum has chosen The Waldorf School of Pittsburgh as the location for this production. Just as exceptional parents nurture their children’s own talents, Waldorf’s endeavor is to “develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives.” Like the school’s plan for it’s alumni, The Electric Baby is unique, reaching beyond Pittsburgh and drawing on African and European culture to form it’s own unparalleled story.
 +Zadravec’s play is about six mostly unrelated individuals who collide and become interconnected through their grief. The play begins with Natalia (Robin Abramson) attending her baby with stories, advice and a bit of gypsy magic. She reveals the secrets of organic Romanian medicine, like how to replace deodorants with potatoes and curing a cough with socks and whiskey, in hope of imparting some wisdom her son can draw upon as he becomes a man. The boy’s father Ambimbola (Monteze Freeland) may be absent but is not without lore to impart from his own African heritage. Aided by a lunar link to the babies mother, they co-narrate the story of Anansi, the trickster spider God who found the moon and had it placed in the sky as a gift to his six sons.
 +Of course, not everyone’s parents possess celestial magic. The stories second couple, Reed (John Shepard) and Helen (Laurie Klatscher) lost their daughter years ago. Helen’s grief eclipses the love she holds for her husband and pushes him in to a bedroom with Rozie (Ruth Gamble), a 22 year old escort with the “Best boobs in the ‘Burg.” Rozie’s own strife isn’t absent. She is haunted by the loss of the only man she could rely on for altruistic kindness, Dan (Nick Lehane). ​
 +Though each character seems to be pursuing their own self-interest each of them eventually finds themself uniting around the baby. Despite some characters bearing no love for one another, indeed some despise each other, each of them draws on the hope a child can inspire and work towards a singular goal. The production isn’t lacking in tension, however. Helen and Rozie are unknowingly introduced and narrowly miss each other through most of the show. Even Ambimbola’s future is uncertain when his health, livelihood and citizenship comes in to question after being hospitalized. ​
 +The Electric Baby keeps the audience enthralled. Throughout it’s 90 minute run there was no coughing, snoring or bathroom breaks despite lacking an intermission – a testament to Zadravec’s ability to mix the mystery of foreign cultures in a tasteful way that maintains a level of mysticism without waning the attention from the personal stories taking place on stage. ​

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