A NoHo Arts theatre review of Baby, written and performed by Rachel Troy, produced by Oliver Harlan at Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024.

[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts theatre review of Baby, written and performed by Rachel Troy, produced by Oliver Harlan at Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024.

Rachel Troy is a bit of a genius. Baby, her slightly subversive and incredibly funny solo clown show premiering at Hollywood Fringe this year, is about a baby, but it’s really about us. Humans. And our comical weird need to be coddled and parented well passed when we should honestly need that. Rachel’s inner baby is at first sweet, then difficult, demanding and a little nuts. But then a baby’s needs are all out there on the surface. Feed me, hold me, play with me, leave me alone, I’m tired. So maybe that’s what all our inner babies are really like and perhaps that is the point she is trying to make.

The baby wakes up on stage and cries. She is in her room, surrounded by her toys and then her mother leaves her. She is bereft and seeks solace, first in her toys and then in someone else. Someone conveniently nearby. Rachel brings an audience member up to comfort the baby which works, of course, because what this baby needs is attention, food, to be made to feel safe, held, communicated with and, in the end, to be important to another human. Perhaps who that human is is less important than the feeling this baby receives from them. In fact, I think that is really very apparent. Babies are inherently selfish…they need to be to survive.

In the second part of the show, the baby is no longer a child, she is an adult “baby” who is so fractured she cannot function as an adult and must infantilize herself in order to become the center of someone’s life. Oh so many of these people have I met…

All of this is then balanced by Rachel as the therapist. She is an actual therapist and while she avoids the direct diagnoses, she talks us through it. The incredible thing about this play is how Rachel performs these characters, the therapist, the baby, the adult baby, even her mother, with the littlest judgment possible. She gives them to us in their true forms, warts and all, and then kind of steps away. She lets us see them in the realest of terms and then allows us the space to see ourselves in them. Their bad and silly behavior is absolutely human and, therefore, flawed. But is it so terrible? Are we there to judge or to see our own reflection?

I’m still not exactly sure. All I know is that Baby is one of the most interesting, funny and ingenious shows I have ever seen. Rachel is so subtle in her behavior, so utterly captivating, I could have heard a pin drop at times in the tiny Broadwater Studio, which was the perfect womb-like space for this extraordinary show. But through most of the performance, the laughter ricocheted off the walls and myself and everyone there sat transfixed by Rachel and her amazing performance.

Facing who we are on the inside isn’t pretty. There’s no point at all in pretending about that if any progress or understanding is to be made. But making a Hollywood Fringe show out of the ridiculousness of our baby minds is a wonderful, fantastical, crazy gift to us all. Bravo!!!



Thursday, JUNE 27 at 6:30PM
Saturday, JUNE 29 at 11AM
Sunday, JUNE 30 at 2PM


The Broadwater (Studio), 1078 Lillian Way, Los Angeles, CA 90038