Baby on Board
The Suburban, November 4, 2009
by Walter J. Lyng
While the 1960s were rife with cheerful pop tunes by the likes of the Ronettes and the Dixie Cups, it was also a time where conservative family values drastically limited the options of young women. Such is the scenario presented in Be My Baby, a new play from Persephone Productions which looks at the difficult situation faced by young unmarried women forced to give up their babies for adoption.
Following 19-year-old Mary as she enters into a convalescence home for unwed expecting mothers, the play demonstrates that these women are in many ways still girls despite the distinctly adult predicament in which they find themselves. The girls come from different backgrounds and upbringings but find themselves on a level playing field.
Mary is played convincingly by Stevie Pemberton, who recently graduated from Dawson College’s Dome Professional Theatre program.
Simultaneously managing to come off as both mature and naïve, Pemberton gracefully represents the immense conflict these girls must have felt.
The rest of the cast and crew are rounded off exclusively by women, an interesting element of this production in and of itself.
However, the other performances are stellar and the choice of songs, like the titular track and Chapel of Love, give the play numerous moments of playful nostalgia amongst the more serious fare.
Director Gabrielle Soskin has a done a good job at wrapping up this fairly complex story into a concise, well-paced 80-minute play. During the 1960s, the era depicted in Amanda Whittington's Be My Baby, young mothers were obliged to give up their babies with absolute finality, never to hear word of them again.