Review: ‘Cry Baby’ twists and twirls through a forbidden teen love

In Arts & Entertainment, Lifestyle, Reviews, Theater & Arts, Top Stories
(Courtesy of Jordan Kubat)

The second a sudden burst of classic rock fills the Little Theater at Cal State Fullerton, audiences are taken on the quirky journey of teen greaser Wade “Cry Baby” Walker.

“Cry Baby, The Musical,” directed by Sarah Ripper, is an alluring CSUF adaption of the famous 1990 John Waters film starring Johnny Depp. Packed with dazzling choreography and magnetizing musical numbers, this theater production sweeps the crowd off its feet.

Set in Baltimore, Maryland in 1954, “Cry Baby” is the love story between the innocent Allison (Kelly Rosales) who wants to shake off her “square” tendencies as she falls in love with the infamous and rebellious Cry Baby (Jeff Garrido) to the chagrin of many.

Garrido adds a great dynamic to the show by playing both a rebel and a good guy at heart. Rosales jumps up and down with glee when she does something “bad,” displaying her naivety.

The cast entrancingly performs Adam Schlesinger’s tunes, engaging audiences wonderfully. . Many of the songs throughout the production are quite catchy, and the fun choreography adds more to the personality of each character.

Characters like Mona “Hatchet-Face” Malnorowski (Olivia Pence), Pepper Walker (Kiana King) and Wanda Woodward (Beth Roy) move in sensual ways as they dance, expressing their rebellious nature. Lenora (Kayla Contreras) — who is obsessed with Cry Baby — moves outlandishly showcasing her eccentric character through each dance number.

The live band adds more charm to the musical, bringing a concert-like atmosphere to the electrifying production.

Baldwin (Matthew Ollson), and his gang The Whiffles: (Colby Hamann, Evan Borboa and Joe Stein), serve as great comedic relief. They constantly exaggerate their hands and facial expressions, showing just how kooky their characters can be. They are at the heart of the funniest moments in the production.

The set designs are creative and well made, brightening up the stage and creating a 1950s vibe. From a brightly lit Ferris wheel, to a courtroom, the actors have sets they can work to tell the story more accurately. Artistic scenery livens up the story, compared to generic set designs many are used to.

“Cry Baby” reflects what individuals would wear in the ‘50s through their costumes. The whimsical feel of the entire show is displayed when characters are dressed up as apple pies and Lucky Strike cigarettes.

With catchy musical melodies, enjoyable choreography and an unorthodox story of teen romance, “Cry Baby, The Musical” is riveting, making it a great show to get lost in.

The show will continue in the Little Theater until Nov. 12. Tickets range from $22 to $24.

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