HOMETOWN ENTERTAINMENT: “Baby” takes stage at Showtimers Theatre

The musical portrays three couples, and how impending parenthood affects their relationships
The musical about how babies affect relationships first opened on Broadway in the '80s
Published: Jun. 23, 2023 at 5:56 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - “Baby” first hit Broadway in the early ‘80s.

A modernized version will light up the Showtimers stage in July.

“‘Baby” pretty much tells the intertwined stories of three different couples at different stages of life that are having their relationships affected some way by the prospect of parenthood,” says director Joel Gruver.

Those characters include a college-aged couple with surprise pregnancy, a couple in their 40s who also get a surprise pregnancy, and another couple having trouble conceiving.

”I think it’s important to note that while the show is called “Baby,” and everybody in the show is affected by a baby, it’s really not so much about babies as it is about relationships,” says Gruver.

Gruver says the show presents some tough questions.

“Is marriage still relevant? Can marriage last through parenthood?”

Stage manager Julie Wheeler is the mom of two teenagers, and has shared her own experience to help the cast members get into character.

“As a parent, I have given people a lot of insight, because all of the women in our show facing the possibility of motherhood do not have children,” says Wheeler.

That insight helps Kaeleigh Howlett, a member of the ensemble who’s playing two roles.

“One of them is a college student who’s friends with the younger couple, and also I play a country mom explaining a different way of having a child,” says Howlett.

There are certain scenes, Wheeler points out, that could be difficult for some audience members.

“There could be some triggering things if there are people in the audience who had a pregnancy loss,” says Wheeler.

While the subject matter can be heavy at times, “Baby” also offers lots of laughs, and a happy ending.

Showtimers’ production of “Baby” is running from July 6 through July 23. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sunday Matinees are at 2pm.

For tickets, call 540-774-2660, or click this link.