Ensemble Theatre Company’s Baby Doll

Posted on Apr 11 by SEASONS Magazine

Baby Doll, courtesy Ensemble Theatre Company.

Poster of Baby Doll. Photo courtesy of Ensemble Theatre Company.

A riveting 2016-17 season for the Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) sees even more excitement with the announcement of the sensual dark comedy Baby Doll. The play was originally produced in 1956 from a film of the same name, and ETC Director Jenny Sullivan is thrilled to bring the old-timey play to the stage.

The play grounds itself in the Mississippi Delta in the 1950s, where two rival gin owners are locked in a vicious professional competition. After he suspects Archie of arson, Silva hatches a plot to seduce Archie’s 19-year-old bride, Baby Doll. Baby Doll, not wanting to marry Archie herself, results to acting like a naive toddler in order to stunt her perceived maturity; she sleeps in a crib, wears children’s nightgowns and sucks her thumb as means to obstruct her impending marriage. However, as Baby Doll learns of Silva’s intentions, she warms up to her suitor’s rival, and starts confronting Archie himself.

Asher Grodman and Lily Nicksay in Baby Doll. Photo by David Bazemore.

The cast of Baby Doll features four new faces to the ETC stage, including Lily Nicksay as Baby Doll, Asher Grodman as Silva, Shawn Law as Archie and Wendy Phillips as Aunt Rose. “Although the film has been with us for decades, this brand new adaptation provides a fresh new experience,” Jonathan Fox, ETC’s artistic director, hints of the play and fresh cast. “The play pulsates with twisted humor and sensuality. I’m delighted to present it with such a talented group of artists.”

Performances for Baby Doll run Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m., with a Saturday 4 p.m. matinee performance on April 22 and a Tuesday 7 p.m. show on April 18. The show runs from April 13–30, and tickets can be purchased through ETC’s website or by contacting the box office at 805/965-5400 x109. All performances take place at the New Vic Theatre, 33 W. Victoria St.

—Toby Qualls

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