Babes in Arms: "an oldie but a goodie"

Action. Romance. Mystery. Song and dance? Rodgers and Hart’s 1937 musical, Babes in Arms , is this year’s winter musical at Ames High, the latest in a long string of classics such as The Music Man , Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat , and Bye Bye Birdie . Although it is not particularly a “household musical,” the show contains well-known songs such as “The Lady is a Tramp” and “My Funny Valentine” that became standards in pop and jazz. “[The play] is really funny, and has a lot of, um, crude humor,” said junior Thomas Eslinger, who plays an apprentice actor in the show. “There’s also really good dancing and singing.” The musical follows a group of young actors working at a struggling summer theatre on the East Coast who have been writing their own musical revue. The owner of the theatre (junior Alex Kirstukas) refuses to let them put on this show, and instead makes them perform the premiere of a “horrible” play called The Deep North, written by a spastic Southern playwright (played by junior Kuper Bergman). In addition to sabotaging this play to make way for their own revue, the characters engage in several fleeting affairs with each other. Throughout the play, the on-stage tension grows between the actors, the theatre owner, and the playwright. What will happen to The Deep North? What will happen to the actors’ own show? What will happen to the theatre? When news of the directors’ choice of Babes in Arms broke to the students, they were originally apprehensive.”When I first heard of this play, I looked it up on the Internet because I hadn’t heard of it before,” said sophomore Alex Canfield, an actor in the show. “I found some bad reviews, but as I started to learn more about the plot, I liked it more and more. It’s a really good, really funny musical.” A spasmodic few weeks of rehearsals due to finals and weather-related cancellations threatened to hurt the musical, but the cast is determined to do well. “It always seems like it’s not going to get done,” said senior Spencer Botine, one of the lead actors. “But it always comes together and turns out amazing.” The members of the production have high hopes for the performances. “I think that people will enjoy the show. It’s something new, something that a lot of people haven’t heard of,” said junior David Shirbroun, who plays a famous actor who visits the theatre. “It’s a unique show from the very early days of musical theater,” said director Steven Woolery. “It’s a show that people will be surprised at when the recognize a lot of the songs in it.” So, if you want to see the best acting, singing, and dancing that the students of Ames High have to offer, be sure to come to Babes in Arms , Friday and Saturday, February 6th and 7th at 7:30 PM, and Sunday, February 8th at 2:00 PM. Who knows-you may even burst into song yourself!