|Laurel Stroud is the "real" Mrs. Baker|
The hallmark of Whose Wives Are They Anyway? is disguise, deceit, and mistaken identity … all in the name of job preservation. To give you an idea of how crazy this show is, there are three characters that all claim to be “Mrs. Baker.” Laurel Stroud plays Laura Baker, John Baker’s “real wife,” but she is upset to learn that there are others apparently vying for his affections. According to Laurel, “Laura is a sweet, simple, dare I say innocent housewife. Her life is neatly defined and she can't imagine anything upsetting it. Nor does she have the tools to deal with it when it does” go awry. Laura Baker can’t cope with John’s suspected infidelity, but she is a likeable character because “she really cares about her marriage and her husband and takes steps to get him back. She is very trusting, even though it gets her in some sticky situations,” according to Laurel.
Laura spends much of her time onstage in tears, so Laurel’s biggest challenge is to be a crybaby without whining: “Laura cries a lot, and it's a challenge for me to keep that funny and not annoying. There's not a lot of depth to Laura, but I need to make sure she's not completely one-dimensional.” In rehearsal, Laurel strikes the right balance between being a basket case and keeping her head on her shoulders. She makes Laura a sympathetic character that audiences will surely love to laugh at, while still rooting for. Laurel “wanted to be in Whose Wives because I've always wanted to be in a farce. Good comic timing is very hard, and I want to learn to do it well. I also love it when audiences laugh.”
Laurel has jumped right back on the Barn stage after just completing her role as Catherine Dickens in A Christmas Carol. Other favorite Barn roles include Mom in Leaving Iowa, Essie in You Can't Take It With You, and a tap-dancing showgirl in The Producers. Offstage, Laurel is a Board member and serves as Director of Communications and Education.
Whose Wives Are They Anyway? opens Friday February 17 and runs through Saturday March 3. For tickets, go to www.farmingtonplayers.org or call the box office at 248-553-2955. Find us on Facebook under "Farmington Players".