NY1 Theater Review: "The Kid"
Multiple Tony Award nominee Christopher Sieber stars in "The Kid," a new Off-Broadway musical that explores gay adoption. NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.
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"The Kid" is aimed at anyone who's ever had a family, lost a family or craved one -- which actually means just about all of us. The fact that it's about two gay men attempting to adopt a baby from a homeless teenager doesn't make it any less universal. In fact, it's the details based on true events, that give this sweetly clever, somewhat sentimental love story its disarming appeal.
Based on the memoir by Dan Savage, entitled "The Kid; What Happened When My Boyfriend And I Decided To Get Pregnant," it tells the story of Savage, a sex advice columnist who decides along with his much younger boyfriend Terry to adopt a baby.
Their journey leads them down what feels like a rabbit hole of emotional angst which they maneuver with an engaging combination of good humor and manic desperation.
The book by Michael Zam offers some pungent laughs and does a fine job developing the main characters. Partnering up with composer Andy Monroe and lyricist Jack Lechner, their concept combines smart writing and snappy songs that for the most part propel the story with flair, though it’s about a half-hour too long.
Director Scott Elliot must be commended for keeping a lot of balls juggling at the same time. Jeff Scher and Aron Deyo's animation and video designs add another dimension of witty amusement.
The company features a strong ensemble. Ann Harada and Susan Blackwell contribute Broadway-caliber support. Jill Eikenberry is wonderful as Dan's upbeat mom, if only she had more to do. Jeannine Frumess delivers a touching performance as the aloof birth mother lost in a subculture of dead-ends.
Lucas Steele's Terry is ideally cast as a frisky young man who's discovering the joys of settling down.
Anchoring the production with great warmth and humor is Christopher Sieber. How nice to see this gifted actor from "Shrek" and "Spamalot" shed the goofy costumes to reveal that he’s an irresistible, overgrown kid himself.
As new musicals go, "The Kid" isn’t fully mature just yet. With 21 songs, it seems to have a slight case of Attention-Deficit Disorder, bouncing in too many directions before finding its main focus. It's creative team deserves praise, though, for bringing an otherwise healthy new musical into the world.