If I said the latest must see show in DC was science fiction, a good number of people would turn and run the other way. If I said that the show was a puppet show another segment wouldn’t even consider seeing the show. What reaction should you expect for a science fiction puppet show? Well, hopefully it is to turn and run to Studio Theatre to see Wakka Wakka Productions show “Baby Universe”. A clever, funny and heart-warming show that encompasses traditional themes of sacrifice and love…and of course a penis joke or two. “Baby Universe” does what any good science fiction is supposed to do. It captures those universal themes and presents them with completely engaging characters in a world that isn’t quite ours, but that we can see when we look in the mirror.
The show takes place in the distant future as Earth is dying and the last remaining earthlings live in an underground bunker and are trying to create a universe that has a hospitable planet that they could inhabit. Universe 7001 is created and given to a human to care and nuture. The hope is that this baby universe will grow and create a planet that will support human life. As the baby universe grows he becomes attached to his human caretaker (Mother) and goes through those moments any child goes through. Whether it is a temper tantrum, the innocent child’s question about gender, or curiosity about the world around him. The humanistic qualities and true caring they were able to give to this puppet of a universe and its mother is the real heart of the show and creates several laugh out loud moments as well as the most poignant one.
No show is complete without some sort of conflict though. In this case it is a 10 foot tall Sun who is in its dying days and will have none of the humans trying to create another universe to move to. He created everything and he will take everything with him when he dies. So who does the Sun enlist? The answer should be obvious, his henchman the moon and his squad of planets that are reminiscent in personality of Statler and Waldorf (the two old guys) in the Muppets. Their mission, prevent Universe 7001 from developing and becoming a Universe that could host human beings. In resolving this conflict the show does what all good science fiction does. It comes back to universal themes that we all can recognize and in this case it is the love of Mother and child and the concept of sacrificing yourself to save the one you love. And of course with a penis joke or two along the way.