Lighthearted pain and controversy in Frank Moher’s Big Baby

By Garth Paulson

It was supposed to be the most romantic of Feb. 13ths–nice dinner, free opening night play tickets and the opportunity to enjoy celebrity hors d’oeuvres with the likes of Bret “the Hitman” Hart before going our separate ways for reading week. Unfortunately, when the topic of said play happens to be abortion, a little of the romance is lost.

So it goes.

Big Baby, the latest offering from British Columbia playwright Frank Moher, attempts to tackle the always controversial issue of abortion in a lighthearted manner. The play begins when Alex (Kevin MacDonald) arrives on Liz’s (Valerie Ann Pearson) door step, claiming he is the son she could have had roughly 30 years ago. Hilarity is supposed to ensue, but many of the jokes only merit a chuckle, not the intended knee-slapping guffaws.

The play’s biggest fault is the characterization. While Alex is supposed to be naive and loveable, he comes off as annoying and the luxurious gowns Daisy constantly models to keep the audience interested though her character is unbelievably over the top. Liz, the only near-normal character, is solid but uninspiring.

Moher takes an interesting approach in his examination of abortion. Refusing to preach either side, Big Baby falls somewhere in the middle leaving the audience to draw their own conclusions. The beauty of this is proponents of both pro-life and pro-choice can be equally offended. Finally something they can agree on!

Big Baby is a mediocre play, succeeding in making the audience laugh and think at the same time, but not very hard in either case.

Leave a comment