Although the Broadway musical, Baby, memorably featured a husband who was "shooting blanks," as the script said, this new show by composer-lyricist Chris Neuner fully focuses on the issue of the title: The inability to make a baby. The work was inspired by Neuner's own six-year journey through the world of modern infertility, he said.
Dawning in cabaret form Feb. 16-19 at Don't Tell Mama in Manhattan, Infertility features such songs as "You've Got Parts," "I've Got Sperm in My Pocket and I'm Talkin' to Eileen," "Finding a Father," "Birth Control Trilogy" and the aria "Il Mio Spermo Funziona Nell'abbondanza."
The musical comedy follows "straight, single and queer urbanites trying to make a baby the unnatural way."
Musical direction by Steven Ray Watkins, direction is by Dan Foster (a co-founder of Hudson Stage Company). The show features Rich Affannato, Jenni Frost, Larry Picard, Stacey Plaskett and Sharon Wheatley.
Neuner is the author of a serious-minded biographical musical about Henry Ford called Any Color You Like (As Long as It's Black). "Last summer, while in rehearsals for a reading of Any Color You Like, my wife and I were undergoing In-Vitro Fertilization," Neuner told Playbill On-Line. "Before rehearsals every morning we would make our way to the Upper East Side for daily monitoring of just about anything you can imagine. I must have had babies and musical theatre on the brain. While my wife was having eggs removed from her follicles, I was in the 'Collection Room' producing a 'specimen.' Sounds like great material for a musical to me...
"The infertility clinic is a surreal experience - especially in New York City. Wall Street warriors, corn-fed Upstaters, aging single women, teachers and taxicab drivers all brought together by one unspeakable problem. Besides hopefully producing a child, my wife and I took this as an opportunity for character analysis. As I began to speak about writing a musical on the subject to other supposedly 'normal' friends of mine I discovered that a great deal of them have had problems with infertility. Add to that the ultimate infertility - having a same sex partner, and you can start to see that the subject matter really isn't exclusive at all."
Neuner said he and his wife are expecting twins in March.
Performances play 9:30 PM Feb. 16, 5:30 PM Feb. 18 and 6 PM Feb. 19 at Don't Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St. (Restaurant Row) between Eighth and Ninth Aves. Admission is $15 plus two-drink minimum. For information, call (212) 757-0788.