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    Babes in America

    The American family, unplugged

    "Babes in America" is an often-inspired comedy about a gated-community family on the edge between going totally digital and pulling the plug on their technological rat race.


    "Babes In America" is a comedy that grapples with the ideas of being completely plugged in and completely unplugged in modern life. The Smalls are a slightly sitcommy American family trying to keep up with the Joneses (also coincidentally named the Smalls) next door, who not only have the latest gadgets but are busy inventing even newer ones.

    Written by: Carole Clement.
    Directed by: Max Daniels.
    Cast: Kate Lunsford, Sam Ward, Alexandra Leeper, Ryan Paulson, Lisa Rock, Paula Nance, Joseph Jude Zito.
    Theater for the New City
    155 First Ave.
    Sept. 13-30, 2001

    We're in a perfect little suburban hoursing complex where the husbands go out to work and the wives stay home and scan stacks of newspapers into their computers, so their children will never be information-deprived for the rest of their lives. Liz Small (Kate Lunsford) — who's slightly out of her mind as a mom, forcing her two kids (Alexandra Leeper, Ryan Paulson) to continue their babyhood well into their teens — is the first to crack. She starts to spiral down to reality and wonder whether scanning all day long is really the way to educate the family.

    She has another idea — go outside the cookie-cutter house and see what's out there.

    "I think I could learn from experience!" she imagines.

    "Even if you could," says her skeptical hubby, who hopes to achieve a totally electronic existence, "do you realize how long it would take? Your whole life!"

    "Babes In America" gets off plenty of clever lines, poking fun at gated communities, homeowners' associations and the bright electronic future. It seems to be inspired by books like "The Age of Missing Information" by Bill McKibben, which compared what the author learned from watching everything on cable TV in a day with what he learned from a day spent in nature. The play is not entirely successful — its conclusions are a little bit obvious and the comedy is a little uneven — but it takes on this big subject with wit, imagination and a strong sense of purpose.

    SEPTEMBER 24, 2001

    Reader comments on Babes in America:

  • BABES review   from Carole Clement, Sep 25, 2001

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