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Comic or Graphic, Shows About Abortion Surface a Stark Divide


Valin

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abortion-shows-alison-leiby-phelim-mcaleer.html
The New York Times (a former newspaper)

Decidedly anti-sensationalistic, Alison Leiby’s shrewd and funny personal monologue plays downtown. Uptown, a staged reading focuses on a gruesome case.

Laura Collins-Hughes

May 11, 2022

(Snip)

A couple of miles uptown, at the Chain Studio Theater on West 36th Street, is a show that announced its New York run as “Oh Gosnell: The Truth About Abortion” — a tabloid title with stalkerish overtones, especially given that its own news release mentions Leiby’s show.

A publicist for “Oh Gosnell” said that the creation of the play was inspired by Leiby’s comic monologue. “They laugh about it — we tell the truth about it,” says the website of the play now going by the name “Oh Gosnell: A Show About the Truth.”

It’s written by Phelim McAleer, who is credited on IMDB as being a producer of the yet-to-be-released film “My Son Hunter,” starring Laurence Fox as Hunter Biden, and as a writer and a producer of “Obamagate,” starring Dean Cain, which The New York Post described as a play that had its premiere on YouTube. His other plays include “Ferguson,” about the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown.

Laughter and truth are not mutually exclusive, of course, even if McAleer, a right-wing provocateur whose program bio calls him “a veteran investigative journalist,” implies otherwise.

As for conveying any general truth about abortion, rather than specific truths about the gruesome case of Kermit Gosnell — a Philadelphia physician convicted in 2013 of first-degree murder for killing three babies after botched late-term abortions — it doesn’t. Neither is it constructed to persuade.

The script for the play, simply titled “Gosnell,” says that it was “compiled, verbatim, from grand jury and criminal trial transcripts” in the Gosnell case. In a spare, somewhat murky staged reading directed by David Atkinson, it has a cast of seven that includes a compelling young actor named Kaché Attyana, who I hope will soon get better work.

“The first thing I want you to be assured of, ladies and gentlemen,” a prosecutor (Roxanne Bonifield) says, close to the top of the show, “is that this is not a case about abortion.”

(Snip)

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The Snark (oh those silly pro life deplorable knuckle draggers) fairly drips from every word.

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And now a slightly different review.....

Oh Gosnell Is Telling the Truth about Abortion

Kathryn Jean Lopez

May 6, 2022

(Snip)

I mention Gosnell because there is a limited-run play in Manhattan about his case — it’s around the corner from the Moynihan Train Hall, and Senator Moynihan would appreciate the effort. I went to see Oh Gosnell: A Show About The Truth last night and met the hero lead detective, James Woods, who made sure what was happening in Gosnell’s clinic was all seen and recorded and ultimately prosecuted. It’s an hour. It’s hard to confront, even if you’re already familiar with the details, but it’s important and timely. It really is about the reality of abortion in America. Not every abortion clinic is putting baby parts down the garbage disposal, but every abortion clinic in America has dead babies. That’s why they exist.

Details are here for the play, and I encourage you to support the effort. It’s based entirely on the Gosnell grand-jury report and trial transcript. It’s been made in response to the abortion comedy happening in the city. I’ve not seen the comedy, but Ann McElhinney, who, with her husband Phelim McAleer wrote the book Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer and are reason for the play (McAleer is its writer; it is directed by David Atkinson), has. She said there are many jokes, but no actual talk of abortion and what it is. You can laugh when you are all about euphemisms, but that’s going through life in denial. This moment, when we are presumably about to be freed from the regime of Roe v. Wade imposed by the Supreme Court almost 50 years ago, is a moment for confronting the truth and doing better. Toward that end, I’m tremendously grateful that Oh Gosnell: A Show about the Truth exists. If you live in the New York area, please go out and support it. (Incidentally, I was going to make time to see the abortion comedy, but it’s called Oh God: A Show About Abortion, and I can’t really get beyond the initial blasphemy on top of everything else.)

The original venue, by the way, canceled on them. People don’t want to hear the truth.

(Snip)

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....you know one based i Reality.

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