MainStreet Musicals

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Main Street Musicals

 

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Can You Hear Me Baby? (1187)

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  • TITLE OF WORK: Can you hear Me Baby?
  • SUBTITLE: Stories of Sex, Love and OMG Birth!
  • SELECT ONE: Original
  • REFERENCED WORK: None
  • MUSICAL STYLE: Standard Broadway
  • NATURE: Comedy, Satire, Drama or Tragedy
  • INTENDED AUDIENCE: Adult
  • STRUCTURE: Spoken dialogue with occasional songs
  • APPROXIMATE DURATION (Hrs/Min): 1:50
  • DESIRED INSTRUMENTATION: We envision a larger ensemble but we are willing to use a single piano.
  • BRIEFLY STATE THE THEME or MESSAGE: “Can You Hear Me Baby?” dives head first into the complex terrain of pregnancy and birth. As we follow thejourney of Amy and Danny from pre- baby to post birth, we get a front row seat into their relationship. We also get to ride a weaving thread of stories that expose the zeitgeist of "all women everywhere" who are dealing with their own stories about birth. Using adapted true stories, broad comedy, and original songs, this musical inspires dynamic conversations and deep reflections on the choices parents make regarding how, when and why they're giving birth. The show portrays a kaleidoscope of humanity engaging with our contemporary healthcare system, revealing the remarkable and often painful choices that must be made. Through dramatic, intimate and hilarious circumstances, the show is dedicated to providing a unique vehicle for empowering parents to choose what is right for them. By increasing understanding, education,  empathy and compassion for all involved, we can improve the quality of birth and have healthier babies, happier parents, and a more enlightened process for birthing.
  • NUMBER OF SETS: 4

Cast Description

Lead Actor:  Danny: 28-33years old   Danny had a difficult childhood with a strict, cold father. As a result, he assumed he’d never want to be a father until he met Amy, who definitely wanted to have a child. He adores his wife Amy but is nervous about becoming a father, concerned that he might not measure up to his expectations of how he’d want to ‘be a man”, a father he could be proud of, when he never was shown what that could look like. (He offers a soliloquy in the second act entitled “I am a Father”. Vocal Range: 2nd tenor with wide range, preferably with a pop contemporary feel, potentially even with an R & B influence. Lowest note, approximately an “A” below middle C; Highest note, a G above the stave, very briefly, as part of an ornament. Otherwise, rarely above an e or f above the stave.

Lead Actress: Amy, 25-30 years old. Amy is having her first baby and wants to do it naturally.  Her mother is close, but not as supportive as she would like her to be. She isn’t sure that her husband has it in him to be a good father, or to meet her at the depth she’s wanting him to meet her at.  Vocal range: Second Soprano, with a pop contemporary feel, could even have an R & B influence. Lowest range would be similar to the lead male, @ “A” below middle “C” of female range all the way to an “E” with chest and throat, with possible ad lib riffs even higher.

WOMAN A: White or a person of color; Early 30’s. She is intellectual, wants a Cesarean and as much sex as possible while pregnant. Vocal Range: Second Soprano/First Alto; A below Middle C to “E/F” on the top of the stave.

WOMAN B:  African American, Early to late 20’s. She is educated, street smart, vulnerable, and resilient. Can be strong and resourceful. A tenacious self-reliant woman with a good heart and a desire to do good. Has been deeply wounded, but has grown because of her life’s wounds. Vocal range: Alto or Second Soprano, contemporary pop/R & B feel.

WOMAN C:  White, 50-70 years old Grandmother/Godmother of Perfect Birth A wise, grounded, experienced woman who’s been around the block and knows what’s important in life; She also must portray a globally acclaimed Neonatologist, internationally respected in the field. Vocal Range: Alto, since she’s the elder in the group, a more conventional voice rather than contemporary. From “G” below middle C to an “E” above the stave.

WOMAN D:  White, Late 30 –mid 40’s, upper middle class, entitled, even a bit ‘holier than thou”, think upper east side or the white suburbs of New York, Can be cranky, feisty, and even a bit ‘nobless oblige”.  Vocal Range: Not quite as low as Elaine Stritch, but it couldn’t hurt. With her potentially Bryn Mawr attitude, a lower, dignified voice with a smooth veneer would be ideal. Probably as low as an f below middle c, although not necessary based on the needs of the score, to as high as a C/D above the stave.

WOMAN E: 45 -50 years old - Ethnic – Midwife, Doctor, wise woman, grounded, been around the block, trustworthy, reliable. Vocal range: Probably as low as a ”G” below middle c, although not necessary based on the needs of the score, to as high as a D/E above the stave.

 

Synopsis

Amy & Danny are expecting their first child any minute. They cope, endure advice, become challenged in their choices, and question themselves and each other. They witness stories of others that reveal many experiences, challenges, and perspectives. Outrageously funny while deeply touching, deeper truths emerge from the choices and unexpected outcomes of giving birth.

Adapted from actual interviews with a wide range of moms, dads, midwives and health professionals, these stories include a midwife’s start in a poor hospital, discussions about sex and the lack thereof, paid maternity leave, stress, post-partum depression, self doubts, unconditional love, surrogate mothers, gay parenting, single mothers using IVF, challenges such as drug dependency and miscarriage, and being in awe of the miracle of birth. No matter who you are, the musical inspires us to reflect on how profoundly these choices influence our lives.  

The songs express these issues’ emotional core as only songs can. The ensemble opening, “Just A Word Of Advice” torments Amy with an uninvited barrage of advice that other mothers feel compelled to share. Amy then sings to her womb, “Can You Hear Me, Baby?” attemptingto establish direct contact with her baby.“I Really Want Drugs!” hilariously reveals the different opinions women have about using drugs during labor. A grandmother shares about her learning to accept the birth of a daughter in “Sacred Ground”.  In “I Don’t Know”, the parents wrestle with their inner doubts. Feeling awe for the courage it takes to face life’s mysteries, the ensemble completes the first act pondering the question, “Do You Remember Who You Are?”

Act II begins with Amy experiencing a nightmare self-criticism in a surreal reprise of  “Just A Word Of Advice”. Two months after the birth with no sex,Danny reaches his breaking point in “Baby, I Gotta Have It!”  After Danny comes to terms with his relationship with his father, the couple re-affirms their commitment to one another in the love song, “For All Time”. The show joyfully concludes in a celebration of the gift of life in “Life’s A Miracle.”

 

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