From the New Group, which brought you “Avenue Q,” comes a new musical sharing the true tale of Dan Savage’s quest to be a dad. “The Kid,” based on Savage’s book of the same name, chronicles the journey of Dan (played by Christopher Sieber) and boyfriend Terry (lithe, adorable Lucas Steele) from carefree gay single life to diaper duty.
Dan, in real life the Seattle-based author of the syndicated column Savage Love, a “forum on politics and relationships,” is thickening around the middle as he moves through his thirties, and the couple longs for a baby. Terry plans to quit his job in a coffee shop to stay home with it, and Dan’s mother (luminously acted by veteran Jill Eikenberry) thrills at the notion of a grandchild. Susan Blackwell plays a lucid, sympathetic adoption counselor, and Jeannine Frumess the homeless teen who cedes her newborn to the eager guys.
Director Scott Elliott moves the show along, shamelessly dissolving the “fourth wall” and projecting animation and video in the set’s windows to illustrate shifting states both interior and geographic. The pair squabble over Bjork, but share a passion for Gore Vidal. Michael Zam’s book and Jack Lechner’s lyrics are clever, yet Andy Monroe’s tunes are mostly forgettable — but the ensemble acting is strong.
Operating on the premise that gays deserve the same rights as straights, and that open adoption is the way to go, “The Kid” shifts in an eye-blink from arch comedy to serious political and emotional conversations, carrying the audience with it. By the end, we hesitate to clap loudly lest we wake the baby.
Through May 29
The New Group @ Theatre Row
410 W. 42nd St.