Time Magazine
April 18, 1983

Mad House:
Baby With the Bathwater, by Christopher Durang

Byline: William A. Henry III

Father sits, catatonic, beside the refrigerator or guzzles hooch that he hides inside a big toy duck.  Mother bitterly complains that she has sacrificed a literary career to have a family.  A baby sitter reads a loud a parody of Mommie Dearest.  A German shepherd eats an infant whole and barks for more.  Is it any wonder that this family's little girl (or boy: the parents are too polite to peek) grows up confused?

Christopher Durang's comedies have the flavor of Freud filtered through Groucho.  In Beyond Therapy and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, Durang, like so many writers of the TV generation, found it easier to crack neurotic one-liners than to tell a story.  But in Baby with the Bath Water, at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard, he wobbles toward a narrative.  The play follows Daisy (impersonated first by a girl doll, then by a hairy young man) from terrifying infancy, mute childhood and promiscuous adolescence to touchingly optimistic parenthood.

Though he manages to tell a tale without diminishing his allusive humor.  Durang still needs to work on rounding his characters.  The actors in Harvard's production, giddily directed by Actor Mark Linn-Baker (My Favorite Year), are adept, but only Daisy (Stephen Rowe) is given a moment of credible self-awareness.  If Durang could bring a touch of the play's final forgiveness to its early scenes, Baby with the Bath Water would mark a major advance in an already noteworthy career.