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ISSUE 119 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 5/5/2006

'Baby' lightens year-end with laughter

By Cate Grochala
Staff Writer

Friday, May 5, 2006

“Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” is a rare theatrical production that gives the audience 30 plays in an about an hour. A perennial favorite on campus, this year's performance maintained the high comedic quotient of past years. The line for Friday's first performance of four stretched past Haugen's exterior door.

This year's cast of eight members featured Jack Adams '09, Megan Hughes '06, Ceara Madson '07, Jake Mahler '07, Mandy Morgan '06, Kate Olson '06, Max Wojtanowicz '06 and Jonathan Ziese '06.

In keeping with the playful, improvisational nature of the show, the program noted that “pre-show conga lines and miscellaneous dance parties are encouraged” and listed the titles of each skit. Beach balls flew through the air, volleyed from cast members to the audience and pop music played prior to the show's opening.

After a robot-style dance routine to start the show, Morgan gave a brief introduction to “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind,” and explained how it worked, stating that no two performances of the show are alike.

The show required audience participation to determine the order of the plays. The program had a numbered list of skits, which corresponded to numbers one through 30 hung from a clothesline. After audience members called out the number of the skit they wanted to see, a cast member would take the number down from the clothesline and the short piece would begin.

One delightful scene, “Man vs. Machine,” told the dilemma of obtaining a can of soda from a soda machine's point of view. Performers Wojtanowicz and Mahler were skilled at alternating between expressions of comical frustration and disgust.

“Songs of Inanimate Objects” continued in the same vein, making great use of the cast's talent for physical comedy in telling the secret wishes of a toaster, clock, empty picture frame and pencil sharpener.

Literary classics were also lampooned. Ziese showed to great effect how “Mr. Science Demonstrates Othello,” explaining Shakespeare's tragedy through a candle, matches, a nutshell and a glass of milk. Another was “Jane Austen Painfully Abridged,” which mocked the idea of marrying well.

The humorous skits, which made up the majority of the program, were interspersed with skits that had a more serious tone. “Veteran's Day” called the audience to remember those who died fighting. Both “Love, I Shoulda Stayed Drunk” and “In Sync” were meditations on failed relationships, with thoughtful performances by Morgan, Wojtanowicz and Mahler.

This year's performance of “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” featured a delightful mix of skits that made the audience laugh and think.

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