Caterwaul Theatre’s How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Abortion, currently playing at the Fringe, is a heartfelt and hilarious dark comedy about a devout Christian named Esther who lives a happy existence with her husband in a small religious community, but also happens to run a secret midnight abortion clinic under the name “Medea‘s Buy and Sell.” Things get complicated when a splinter cell within her Bible study group hears about the local abortion doctor and decides to take “him” out Old Testament style.
Erin Fleck (who also plays Esther) wrote the script, which has just the right combination of gravity and levity that the subject matter warrants. The production is pretty much top-notch across the board. Maya Rabinovitch’s staging is inventive without being messy, the entire cast is absolutely terrific and a sequence involving a giant puppet carrot, cucumber, and unborn fetus is an absolute riot and has to be seen to be believed.
Abortion is always a “hot topic,” as Elisabeth Hasselbeck might say, particularly after Henry Morgentaler’s recent induction into the Order of Canada (an event the play slyly acknowledges). But this isn’t a play about political agendas or even the choice/life debate so much as it is a personal story about a woman whose life, like it or not, has been greatly affected by abortion and who has the courage to do something she believes is right in the face of adversity.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Abortion plays tonight at 8:45 p.m. at the Passe Muraille mainspace.
Yet more Fringery:
Bluebeard, a new adaptation of the classic women-locked-in-a-castle fairytale has been generating solid buzz all over town. Catch it tonight at 8:45 p.m. in the Tarragon Mainspace. Or, The Swearing Jar plays at 2:45 p.m. in the same place. It’s a family drama directed by Geoffrey Pounsett and everyone’s talking about it.
Photo by Jessica Rose Powell.