Life has often been described as a dance. Each of us are simply trying to figure out how to step next to navigate our lives. “The Baby Dance” at Cherry Creek Theatre tells the tale of two couples, dance together as they decide the fate of an unborn child.
This emotional and powerful drama has two contrasting families. Al and Wanda, a poor, rural, white family in Louisiana with four kids and a fifth on the way and Richard and Rachel, an upper class, suburban, white family, who can’t have kids.
To fill the child void in their lives Richard and Rachel place an ad in the paper trying to find a surrogate couple. Al and Wanda respond and from there the baby dance begins.
The cast that makes up this show brings raw life into each of their performances. Creating a cast of characters that you want to love and hate all at the same time.
Robert Michael Sanders (Al) creates the rural, abusive husband that you don’t want to believe exists but unfortunately does. As with any abusive relationship there is still love in it. Sanders shows this beautifully by maintaining a relationship of compassion and fear.
Kelly Uhlenhopp (Wanda) is the stay at home obedient, wife of Al’s. Uhlenhopp gives a mesmerizing performance as the mother who wants to keep her child but has no other choice.
The socio-economic class that these characters live in are so far outside the realm that a suburban audience in Colorado are used to, that at first class it feels exaggerated.
When Rachel and Wanda meet for the first time, Wanda prepares a plate of cold cuts because it’s hot. An idea that may seem foreign to audiences that don’t understand the reference but perfectly shows the situation that Al and Wanda are in.
This idea of being so poor that you will do anything to survive is where the play get’s it truth and grounding from. This unborn child is used as a bargaining chip between the two couples and one might ask themselves, as Richard does at one point, how can anyone use an unborn baby as a negotiation tactic? Once the realization of the world that they live in is fully understood, you began to see the steps of this dance clearer.
“The Baby Dance” is raw, tear jerking, challenging night at the theater. It asks us to take a look at a situation in society that is often not highlighted, but never the less needs to be shown.
“The Baby Dance” *** (out of four stars)
This emotional show is here until April 23 at the Cherry Creek Theatre in the Mizel Arts and Culture Center (MACC), 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, CO 80246. For tickets visit eventbrite.com.