Baby Mama: Take 2

There might never be a more unlikely or ironic pairing of venue and artist than this year’s Fringe entry from Caps Lock Theatre, Baby Mama: One Woman’s Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People.

click to enlarge 'Baby Mama'
'Baby Mama'

There might never be a more unlikely or ironic pairing of venue and artist than this year’s Fringe entry from Caps Lock Theatre, Baby Mama: One Woman’s Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People. Staged at the OTR Community Church and performed bravely by playwright and performance artist Mariah MacCarthy, this 70-minute show unapologetically — and often quite graphically — recounts the actor’s decision to have a baby while living a life that most would think is definitely outside the lines. MacCarthy shares in honest detail her reasons and feelings at every stage of her pregnancy and the adoption process. She introduces us to friends and caretakers who support the journey, as well as the gay couple that will eventually become the legal parents of her unborn son. Her story, however, also involves a continued sensuality that she does not relinquish in the least, as it is something that springs from her life and identity as an artist.There is no separation here between the work and the woman, and to judge one is to judge the other, which even in the unexpected environs of a church is the wrong response. This is a life lived to the fullest, with all the small madnesses, hard decisions and certainties of the heart that come with it. Even so, Baby Mama feels a little long, which could be remedied with a few edits or by extending the focus to some of the other characters. Lending a little more narrative and empathy to those in the circle — especially the adopting couple — would give the show some additional depth and dynamic.For those who are easily offended by honest sex talk, alternative values or even a little bare skin, this is not the show for you. But if you’re coming to the Fringe for a production that demands life on its own difficult and confusing terms, you’ve come to the right church and the right pew.

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