Already closed | 2h 0m | Midtown W

Our Mother's Brief Affair

From 161 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Disappointing, Slow, Funny, Clever

About the show

Manhattan Theatre Club presents the NY premiere of Richard Greenberg's new play starring Linda Lavin as a mother with a shocking secret that threatens her children. More…

On the verge of death for the umpteenth time, Anna (Lavin) makes a shocking confession to her grown children: an affair from her past that just might have resonance beyond the family. But how much of what she says is true? While her children try to separate fact from fiction, Anna fights for a legacy she can be proud of.

Member Reviews (161)


Great acting, Disappointing, Slow, Funny, Clever
Avg Score

Banal, Slow, Disappointing, Annoying, Unimpressive

See it if you love Linda Lavin and can't miss anything she does. The play itself is awful, but she tries to make the most of it.

Don't see it if you value you time at the theater. A silly, uninsightful, clunky script.

See the incomparable linda lavin albeit in an unconvincing vehicle

See it if you enjoy seeing the master of Jewish mother comic timing (Lavin) delivering some deliciously sardonic rejoinders

Don't see it if you don't enjoy a play where the playwright had a clever idea but did not know where to take it in second act

Delightful, Funny, Great writing, Intelligent, Charming

See it if you like smart humor, good writing, and fine acting.

Don't see it if you want something that feels entirely fresh and youthful.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You like great acting and an entertaining interesting story.

Don't see it if You should see it!

Banal, Cliched, Indulgent, Great acting, Romantic

See it if You love Linda Lavin no matter how weak the material, or if you're an aging Upper East Sider.

Don't see it if You can't stand listening to rich white New Yorkers' problems.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Fluffy, Slow

See it if You want to feel bad for actors who didn't read a script before they decided to take a part

Don't see it if If you want to see good acting or a good play. This is just awful all around. I can't imagine anyone would like this.

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Hilarious, Resonant, Great acting

See it if You enjoy well-written, brilliantly acted family dramas.

Don't see it if You can't suspend your sense of disbelief.

Insipid, Indulgent, Uninvolving, Lazy, Shallow

See it if you are an inveterate Linda Lavin fan.

Don't see it if you don't like plays that pander to the audience.

Great acting, Intelligent, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Romantic

See it if You'd like to see Linda Lavin do what she does brilliantly

Don't see it if You expect more of a point to the writing

Great acting, Clever, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if Love a great Linda Lavin performance

Don't see it if Flawed writing is an issue for you

Ambitious, Clever, Funny, Original, Great acting

See it if You like something a little different and are a Linda Lavin fan. She's terrific.

Don't see it if You require a neat ending. The second act was a bit of a let down.

Clever, Intelligent, Overrated, Cliched

See it if you want to see an interesting new drama with seasoned pros. See it for Linda Lavin. She's incredible.

Don't see it if you aren't at all familiar with the McCarthyism era or the Red Scare. Without a little bit of previous knowledge, it's a bit confusing.

Disappointing, Slow, Failed to engage, Dull, Funny moments

See it if An unexpected twist in an otherwise tepid play; some funny one-liners and good acting by Linda Lavin; the rest of the cast was forgettable.

Don't see it if You want something lively or memorable.

Delightful, Confusing, Entertaining, Funny, Disappointing

See it if you ever worshiped @ the Linda Lavin altar. STILL magnificent. But the show is confusing, & the end's one of the worst let-downs in theater.

Don't see it if dementia/alzheimers theme will mess w/you. About family, w/some unknowns & surprises exposed. The abrupt ending destroyed the whole show.

I liked this a lot more than i thought i would, Funny, Great acting, Go to see linda lavin

See it if You're a Linda Lavin fan and in the mood for something different.

Don't see it if You can't stand ambiguity.

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if I liked it, found the story line a true surprise, and the dialogue around it interesting. Linda Lavin, as always, a wonderful performance.

Don't see it if Might not be for everyone. Topic moves between aging and politics.

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Insipid, Slow

See it if You're a big Linda Lavin fan. She's terrific in the show.

Don't see it if You don't like plays that mix up drama with storytelling.

Dated, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you like Richard Greenberg and lavin work.

Don't see it if you want something to entertain you.

Banal, Cliched, Confusing, Dated, Disappointing

See it if You love seeing Linda Lavin play her wonderful Linda Lavin-ness.

Don't see it if inane plot twists bother you.

Clever, Great acting, Original, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy following the lives of others, especially with unexpected twits and turns.

Don't see it if You like musicals or a lot of staging and fast paced activity.

Great acting, Entertaining, Slow

See it if you don't mind slow moving shows

Don't see it if you're into hysterical comedies

Disappointing, Slow, Boring, Great cast does the best they can with what they have

See it if need to see Linda Lavin on stage or you are looking to take a nap

Don't see it if you are looking for something new and exciting.

Funny, Great acting, Clever, Profound, Masterful

See it if for Linda Lavin

Don't see it if some farfetched plot twists will take you out of the moment

Cliched, Banal, Slow

See it if You want to see Linda Lavin doing her usual Jewish mother schtick.

Don't see it if You are expected a show where you care about any of the characters.

Interesting idea, Uneven, Good bits, Annoying at times

See it if are a fan of the playwright or of Linda Lavin; if you want to understand mid-20th C life as a Jewish New York woman; you like family dramas

Don't see it if You hate fourth-wall-breaking, overly long explanations of the dramatic action; dislike over-reliance on sardonic "Jewish" one-liners

January 20th, 2016
"An untethered play about unmoored lives...Throughout this production, directed a shade too tentatively by Lynne Meadow, Ms. Lavin’s poses unfailingly match, and even amplify, Mr. Greenberg’s exquisite prose...I wish the play that surrounds her were more compellingly realized...As a mystery drama...
read more
January 20th, 2016
"Greenberg’s writing is elegant and keenly epigrammatic...'Our Mother’s Brief Affair' leaves you to wonder how much this scandal has been retouched. But there is no doubt as to the casual mastery that Lavin, at 78, brings to the part. Shifting in and out of the past, elevating one-liners to three...
read more
January 20th, 2016
"The moral balance fails, making 'Our Mother’s Brief Affair' seem uncharacteristically cheap or desperate, a way of cribbing drama from an impeccable source — history — instead of growing it natively. Greenberg seems to sense this, or at least his characters do, because he and they spend the rest...
read more
January 20th, 2016
"It takes some doing to stifle the prickly humor of Linda Lavin, but 'Our Mother's Brief Affair' makes her character both an unreliable narrator and one who's astringent to the point of unpleasantness...While Meadow's actors are all quite accomplished, they struggle to find any heart in character...
read more

Related content