In a theater covered with posters advertising modernized versions of the classics, including The Goresteia (with a picture of former Vice President Al Gore in the background), a remarkable evening of theater occurs. Writers/performers Daniel Jenkins and Robert Stanton take the audience on a hysterical journey in the current production of Love Child at New World stages, offering varying insight from a variety of colorful characters into a particularly rocky opening night.

It could have been easy for less talented actors to lose the audience in the constant shift of characters and scenes, but the intensely physical performances offered by Jenkins and Stanton evoke uproarious laughter from the audience, and perspiration from the performers. The small touches they each add to their multitude of roles certainly pays off, allowing the audience to recognize which voice they were about to hear, before even a single word is uttered.

While definitely offering something extra for anyone who has worked in the theater, or considers himself or herself an avid fan, Love Child still holds strong as a comedy for novices as well. The set, skillfully designed by Neil Patel, offers some insight into the mind of the characters and their previous (and judging by the humorous titles, most likely failed) theatrical ventures. While the slow beginning caused me to momentarily long for a revival of Gutenberg! the Musical, Love Childquickly regained control of my attention and held strong all the way through to deliver a triumphant and seemingly exhausting ending. With tight direction from Carl Forsman, once the pace is set, the production never lets up, offering a truly laugh-a-minute experience.

Love Child plays at New World Stages through January 3. Tickets are $46.50 and $69.50 and may be purchased through Telecharge at 212.239.6200/ or by visiting the New World Stages box office (340 West 50th Street, b/w 8th and 9th Avenues).

Elizabeth Sorrell

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