With little publicity, positive but not earth-shaking reviews, and competition from the hottest New York theatre season in years, the romantic comedy, Maybe Baby, It's You, has nevertheless managed to run well over half a year at Off-Broadway's Theatre at St. Luke's. (This already following a three-week run in 1999 at the Currican Theatre and then a multi-month stint at the SoHo Playhouse).
Still, it is summertime in New York, which means shows that manage to get by during the "on" season struggle mightily for audience attendance. As such, Maybe Baby will throw in the beach towel June 30, after 163 performances at St. Luke's, according to production spokesperson David Gersten.
Like a non-musical version of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Maybe Baby looks at dating, relationships and marriage through serio-comic sketches. Played between the longer pieces are audio clips of real-life interviews with people about their love lives and romantic needs.
Actors and co-authors Charlie Shanian and Shari Simpson first played the piece in a three-week run at OOB's Currican Theatre in the summer of 1999. Jeremy Dobrish, artistic director of the adobe theatre company [sic], directed the show, which was described as being about "finding your ideal soul mate."
Shanian says the original Dobrish production received “mostly strong, favorable notices, but the show closed right after the holidays when Equity denied us our petition to reduce performances to four times per week for the months of January and February.” After that closing, Shanian and Simpson worked on a new musical, Adventures in Love. With music and lyrics by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler, that show was produced by Kevin McCollum at the Ordway Music Theater in St. Paul. Performances of Maybe Baby started back up, this time at St. Luke's, Nov. 9, 2000.
The production team for the show comprises Tim Flaherty and John Pratt of Entertainment Events (Late Night Catechism). The play, with other performers, has already had gigs Philadelphia and Kansas City's American Heartland Theatre. An L.A. mounting may happen in the fall, possibly with the original cast.
For tickets ($40) and information on Maybe Baby, It's You at the Theatre at St. Luke’s, 308 West 46 St., call TeleCharge at (212) 239 6200.
— By David Lefkowitz