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Off Broadway

The Bedwetter Is Too Wet

The Bedwetter Is Too Wet

It is seriously disturbing watching ten year old Sarah (Zoe Glick) say the “F” word among others in the potty-mouthed new musical The Bedwetter. Based on comedian Sarah Silverman’s memoir, the show boasts a cast that is exquisite. From her alcoholic, but loving Nana (Bebe Neuwirth), who has taught her granddaughter the skill of making Manhattans to her pop (Darren Goldstein) who has divorced her mom, cheats non-stop and owns Crazy Donny’s Factory Outlet, a discount women’s clothing store who teaches her dirty jokes, on to her bed ridden Hollywood-obsessed mom, Beth Ann (Caissie Levy), and her teenage sister Laura (Emily Zimmerman), who loves her but is ashamed and embarrassed by her. To cope, Sarah says “f–k” a lot and makes fart noises.

Sarah (Zoe Glick) and Laura move to Bedford, New Hampshire, in "The Bedwetter."
Zoe Glick, Emily Zimmerman photo by Ahron R. Foster

Due to the divorce,, Sarah’s parents move and she has to start in a new school in Bedford, New Hampshire. Sarah is weird, dorky and exuberantly proud. The show starts on her very first day as Sarah says inappropriate words, alienating potential friends, but she finally gets friends (Charlotte MacLeod, Charlotte Elizabeth Curtis and Margot Weintraub). When they  discover her bedwetting secret, thanks to her grandmother’s mishaps, Sarah gets depressed. She is sent to a quack hypnotist (Rick Crom) and then a doctor (Rick Crom), who prescribes Xanax. As she slowly disappears, she becomes a shell of her former self.

Nana (Bebe Neuwirth) drinks non-stop and makes a joke out of it.
Bebe Neuwirth, Zoe Glick photo by Ahron R. Foster

Johnny Carson (Rick Crom) and Miss New Hampshire (Ashley Blanchet) are fabulous fun. They bring the humor in a humorless show.

The book, by Silverman and Joshua Harmon, is like Sarah Silverman therapy. Way too much. The music by Adam Schlesinger, who died during COVID sadly, is serviceable, but nothing to sing about. They are more like jingles. The choreography by Byron Easley is haphazard.

The musical's most poignant moments belong to Caissie Levy as Sarah's mom Beth Ann.
Caissie Levy photo by Ahron R. Foster

The Atlantic Theater Company does really terrific musicals with heart, but this one comes a little late. There are too many storylines and none of them are really fleshed out. In this play’s case, bedwetting is hereditary. Her father had it before her and grew out of it, but that’s all we learn. Sarah’s parents lost a child due to a faulty crib while her nana was in charge. This sent Sarah’s mom into a depression and bed and her grandmother into alcoholism. Only Levy’s character shows real pain in her raw performance as a women who just can’t function but still loves. Suicide, addiction and more fill this show and I just don’t find this funny.

The Bedwetter has fabulous performances and so much potential, it just needs to be fleshed out.

The Bedwetter: Atlantic Theater Company, 336 W. 20th St. Until July 3rd.

Off Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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