Little Footsteps, Attic Playhouse. Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a woman gets pregnant, and her husband gets scared. Ben, who’s prone to juvenile one-liners, isn’t much of a man: as Joanie confides to the audience, “My friends ask me why I want another baby when I already have one” (just in case we couldn’t glean Ben’s character flaws on our own). Ben’s immaturity becomes too much, and Joanie leaves him. When the baby is born, in the second act, the parents are en route to divorce.

If you’ve somehow managed to miss the bevy of other, better works exploring the theme of scared parents-to-be forced to grow up, then Ted Tally’s Little Footsteps might strike you as funny. You might even laugh when you meet Joanie’s overbearing parents, who hate Ben even more once the couple splits.

The odds are slim, though, with this limp cast and Donna Lubow’s plodding production. David Chrzanowski as Ben plays too hard for laughs that just don’t come, and Jane McCarty and Wally Cwik as the parents seem befuddled by the fact that they’re onstage and expected to react and remember lines. Patricia True has some shining moments but falters when Joanie is expected to show real emotion or strength, perhaps because the character has so little depth. Stumbling over their cues, the cast smother what little humor there is in this vapid, unoriginal purported comedy.

–Jenn Goddu