Late-term abortion isn’t exactly a fun subject. Even St. Aquinas admits it’s kind of a downer. Even with the touchy subject, Mitzi’s Abortion manages to incorporate humor and truth into Mitzi’s heartbreaking predicament.
Mitzi (Natalie Cutcher) is 22 and hoping to get back to college one day when she and her boyfriend find out she is pregnant. Chuck, her boyfriend, played by a convincing Christian Campbell, is overjoyed, until he is deployed, leaving a far more doubtful Mitzi to prepare for the baby herself.
Aquinas (John C. Bailey) plays a huge part in bringing humor to the situation, as well as bringing moral guidance to Mitzi, who is being trained by her step father to be a “step Christian.” Bailey’s Aquinas is a subway-eating, Gold’s Gym attending man who’s frustrated with new doctrine in the Catholic Church pertaining to “immediate pollination.”
One thing Elizabeth Heffron, the playwright, does very well is giving multiple viewpoints on abortion. Aquinas never gives his black and white opinion, only discussing when a human actually gets a soul. Mitzi’s best friends, Nita and Tim, discuss their different opinions on abortion as well, really making the audience think and showing depth of Mitzi’s decision. Nita and Tim, played by Amy Couchoud and John C. Bailey in his second role in the show, do well as friends trying to comfort their grieving friend in an impossible situation.
Although Aquinas was an enjoyable and helpful character, Reckless Mary, a 17th century midwife, (Louise Schlegel, who had a great Scottish Accent) seemed unnecessary. Schlegel also played a bureaucrat with her hands tied, and managed to not make us hate the woman who complicates things for Mitzi even more.
Elizabeth Richards Bailey is notable as Mitzi’s mother, Vera who is painfully aware of Mitzi’s embarrassment and pain. She masterfully portrays the desperation of a mother trying to protect her daughter.
Carrying the show is Cutcher, Mitzi herself who displays the textbook psychological descriptions of a pregnant woman given to the audience by the Expert (Christian Campbell again), until her pregnancy goes completely off the rails. Cutcher brings raw emotion to Mitzi that gives the audience a real taste of the despair Mitzi is going through, especially with the different directions she is being pulled in.
Two of those pulling her are played John Kevin Boggs, her doctor and her uncle. Her doctor almost loses his license to bypass the bureaucracy of her insurance agency, and her uncle lets Mitzi know that he didn’t go all the way to Vietnam to let her get away with losing a baby.
Mitzi’s Abortion is thought-provoking and appropriately funny and sad. It will make audiences think.
Mitzi’s Abortion has 5 performances, ending July 25, 2012 at Warehouse 645 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC.
Details and tickets.
Annie rates this 4 out of a possible 5.