Already closed | 1h 35m | East Village

Mary Jane

From 172 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing

About the show

New York Theatre Workshop presents Pulitzer Prize finalist Amy Herzog's new play about the struggles and joys of a single mother with a severely ill toddler. More…

During a rain-drenched summer in New York City, Mary Jane navigates the mundane, shattering, and sublime aspects of caring for a chronically sick child. 'Mary Jane' marks a return to New York Theatre Workshop for Herzog and her two-time Obie Award-winning director Anne Kauffman. The two previously collaborated on 2013's 'Belleville.'

Member Reviews (172)


Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing
Avg Score

Disappointing, Dated, Slow, Great acting

See it if you like the actors, who do a great job with what is given to them. Coon brilliant.

Don't see it if you want a story, ​not a documentary.

Also This is a polaroid of a moment. Nothing happens really. It is just a d... Read more Read less

Great acting, Interesting, Informative, Overrated, Slow

See it if Great performance by Coon & Cast. Seems to be a very realistic depiction of the hardships of dealing w/ a terminally ill child.

Don't see it if A snapshot of a brief period, the story doesn't cover much ground but it does inform, at times it feels more like a documentary than a play.

Heartbreaking, Enchanting, Relevant, Profound, Lovely

See it if Beautiful, touching story about a mother's love that knows no bounds. What a rewarding experience.

Don't see it if You don't want to explore suffering and sacrifice as a source of meaning in life.

Absorbing, Slow, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting

See it if Herzog's best work staged & acted with quiet beauty Decidedly feminist w/o preaching tackling serious moral issues evenhandedly Very moving

Don't see it if Pacing a bit slow due to medical issues/terminology Doesn't quite hit universal themes but stays in the particular Questionable ending(s)

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You like stark playable about by difficult issues. Fantastic acting. A hyper realistic set. Thought provoking, emotional play.

Don't see it if You want something light and cheerful. This is serious and intense. Deals with difficult issues involving a very sick child.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Slow, Relevant

See it if You’re interested in very real stories and dialogue about heavy, topical issues, including healthcare and disabilities.

Don't see it if You’re not interested in depressing plays about parents dealing with sick children.

Absorbing, Wonderful ensemble work from five great actresses, Beautifully directed by anne kauffman, Exquisite, Amy herzog's best work to date

See it if you want to see a marvelous ensemble of female actresses in what is destined to be one of the best plays of this theatre season.

Don't see it if you have problems dealing with a play about a chronically ill child.

Good acting. well done. very depressing story.

See it if You want very serious depressing drama.

Don't see it if You want an entertainment that's light.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you want a well written, well acted, well stage story exploring the life of a single mother whose child has disabilities. Really EXCELLENT!

Don't see it if you were looking for Jersey Boys.This play is touching without being maudlin.It is eye opening, very real.Go see it.The actors are terrific

Great acting, Great writing, Excruciating, Slow, Intense

See it if enjoy well written dramas about single mothers with children that have critical health issues. It deals well with some shared problems

Don't see it if plays that tug on emotional heartstrings are difficult for you.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Moving

See it if a single mother dealing with a seriously ill child (cerebral palsy); her psychological reactions which start very upbeat; wonderful Ms. Coon

Don't see it if want more action & less psychological; want supporting characters to be more developed - they really only serve to show Ms. Coons reactions

Also 1. Very, very sad story... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intelligent, Slow

See it if You want a realistic view of one woman's struggle with a sick child. A "moment in time" show. Strong performances all around.

Don't see it if You want some plot development. There isn't any. Set was great.

Disappointing, Great acting, Overrated

See it if you want to explore travails of a single mother raising a handicapped child. Performances by Susan Pourfar are worth the price of entry.

Don't see it if this subject matter cuts too close to the bone for you, or if you don't want to leave the theatre sad.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Relevant

See it if You are a fan of the playwright and/or the talented cast members.The plot revolves around a mothers' coping with her young son's illness.

Don't see it if Plays involving the illness of a child and the effects on the mother don't appeal to you. The play discusses religion,social issues,health.

Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated, Disturbing

See it if you want to see a play about a mother's love & sacrifice to care for her extremely ill child & how it affects her being in dealing with life

Don't see it if you don't like very heavy dramas that leave you both depressed and moved to a point of feeling like you went through the ringer.

Disappointing, Great acting, Excruciating, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if You're interested in exploring a mother's experience of a terminally-ill child. Sensitive portrayal.

Don't see it if You haven't gotten enough sleep.

Also I'm baffled by all the clamor about this; slow and tedious often perfo... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if the human condition with its all its ups & downs fascinated you. Not an easy play, but worth seeing.

Don't see it if You have or had had a severely ill child and are still grieving

Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound

See it if You want to be challenged, not feel comfortable, and walk out feeling that you’ve just seen something extraordinary.

Don't see it if You have issues with disease, want a laugh riot, or expect big showy performances. They were excellent, but quietly real. Amazingly done.

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if Amy Herzog's beautiful writing is of interest; excellent actors in multiple roles appeals; life and death subject matter isn't scary for you

Don't see it if a troubled and deeply challenging mother/child relationship or the subject of disability is too close to home.

Also Herzog is a brave writer. I wish she was brave enough to cut the final... Read more Read less

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Overrated, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You like serious drama written with enough humor to not be devastating

Don't see it if It pushes your buttons to be immersed in the sad depressing world of death of a child

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Resonant

See it if Masterful writing of single woman whose humanity beyond a bulletproof exterior is slowly revealed as situations prove burdensome

Don't see it if Production budget concerns require double casting from a talented cast that one may not expect from a first class production

Great acting, Great writing, Profound, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you love great actors doing justice to superb writing. This play is way more than the sum of its parts - I was profoundly moved.

Don't see it if You want a feel good play with a happy ending.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Cliched, Resonant

See it if you want to see a solid modern play delivered flawlessly by an expert cast

Don't see it if you demand larger themes or big social statements out of your pieces

Good acting, Naturalistic, Unusual slice of life, Unsatisfying ending

See it if Enjoy naturalistic plays and appreciate less-told stories. Moms dealing with ill kids are usually "weepy" or "heroic." This is more subtle.

Don't see it if You prefer a clear dramatic arc with a discernible resolution. This has no conflict, character development or real plot.

Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if you relate to plays about the struggles of young mothers dealing with exceptionally adverse conditions.

Don't see it if you've already seen more than enough plays about young mothers coping with adversity.

September 25th, 2017
"A heartbreaker for anyone human...The play, under Kauffman’s ideally detailed direction, is not out to answer any questions. In that sense 'Mary Jane,' with its ordinary name, is a character study, an Everywoman story..But 'Mary Jane' is nevertheless a very big drama, even if its conflicts are a...
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September 25th, 2017
"There are no villains here, only people doing their best under sometimes crushing circumstances. All are rendered in lovely detail by Herzog and the five women of the cast, directed by Anne Kauffman with characteristic attention to the importance of offhand nuance...Herzog shows the strain of Ma...
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September 25th, 2017
"Though it’s meticulously crafted, 'Mary Jane' feels like such a recognizable slice-of-life that it’s difficult to get a sense of the urgent physical need at the heart of the piece, the thing that demands that it be a work of theater...It shows us a very hard life, and that’s pretty much all it d...
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September 29th, 2017
"Herzog’s beautiful new play...Coon is an appealing performer, but at first I was put off by her characterization—sometimes it felt as though she was working on one level, until I realized that Mary Jane hardly ever deviates from her optimism because she’s a preternaturally optimistic person...I ...
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