SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE- YEAR IN REVIEW- TOP 10 LIST
“Baby Taj” TheatreWorks- A captivating inquiry into love and freedom, staged with inventive eclecticism by Matt August, Tanya Shaffer’s new play about potential single motherhood and the Taj Mahal thrives on a witty, probing clash between freethinking modernity and tradition.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS – 10 BEST THINGS ON AREA’S STAGES FROM DICKENS TO BOLLYWOOD
Biggest Laughs: “Baby Taj”- Yuk it up, Bollywood-style.
OKLAND TRIBUNE/INSIDE BAY AREA- TOPS OF THE YEAR
“Baby Taj,” TheatreWorks — After the huge success of her one-woman show, Berkeley writer Tanya Shaffer proved she has more than the right stuff to create a full-blown play with this vibrant tale of a 30-something woman wrestling with her desire to have a baby and her need to escape responsibility. A gorgeous, fanciful production from director Matt August and designers Joe Ragey and Fumiko Bielefeldt couldn’t overwhelm heartfelt performances.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Most of all, it’s a captivating inquiry into love — free, formally arranged, erotic, problematic, friendly, familial and especially maternal — staged with inventive eclecticism by Matt August in his TheatreWorks debut.…August segues deftly between a bright array of styles, mixing in bits of Bollywood romance, kathakali and beautifully designed shadow puppetry, to the invigorating sitar, tabla and flute score by composer Rama. Visions of the Taj Mahal are captivatingly suggested by the ornate flying gateways and fabric towers of Joe Ragey’s multi-layered set, impressively lit by Pamila Gray. Fumiko Bielefeldt adorns the cast in a resplendent array of American and Indian costumes.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
CULTURAL FLIRTATIONS- `BABY TAJ’ IS A SIZZLING COMEDY
Huzzah! TheatreWorks gave birth over the weekend to “Baby Taj,” a new play about India, and it’s a bundle of cross-cultural joy…It’s all sort of like “Everybody Loves Raymond,” only with chai. In fact, it might all seem a little too sitcom-y if the domestic warfare wasn’t so funny and the culture clashes weren’t so on target… Fera and Younis etch each scene with a clarity that keeps the courtship from cloying, a refreshing departure for the romantic comedy genre…August’s staging of the yuk-it-up artificial insemination scene — involving a turkey baster, an annoyed lesbian and a peasant skirt — crackles with borscht-belt comic timing.
La Taj aux Folles
The script is clean and lean, and director Matt August has tuned it to just the right combination of warmth, humanity and humor.…August has led TheatreWorks’ top-notch production team to outdo itself in Baby Taj. All the visual elements maintain the ornate essence of Indian design with rich Persian influence, right down to a rosette-textured backdrop scrim. Detailed scrolls and swirls and florals characterize Fumiko Bielefeldt’s copious, amazing historic costumes for each enacted legend. Legends are narrated as masques, or as elaborate shadow puppet shows. And the cobra costume is a mechanical feat as well as beautiful.