See it if If you want to see a dysfunctional family with a dying matriarch. Some good acting.
Don't see it if Directing here is to heavy, actors to confined . Vey slow at times, to long of a show. A show that deals with hospice not for everyone. Dark
See it if you enjoy a drama about a woman dying among her dysfunctional family. Acting was good and set very well used. See if Lois Smith fan.
Don't see it if you do not like to see a play about an elderly person dying and talk about the process of dying or see another dysfunctional family. Read more
See it if Zzzz... you want to see an excellent cast... Zzzz... portray a routine family... Zzzz... dealing w/the slow death of the matriarch... Zzzz..
Don't see it if you have any hopes that the great Lois Smith or the accomplished Lila Neugebauer can inject life into this prosaic, uninspired borefest. Read more
See it if A superlative cast led by Smith cannot resuscitate this DOA drama Lacks a strong dramatic arc & is often repetitious Colorless direction
Don't see it if Despite such potent topics as end of life hospice & unresolved middle-age sibling rivalry, drama is over long, unshaped & grows tedious
See it if You love Lois Smith and are okay with depressing plays.
Don't see it if A play about a semi-dysfunctional family caring for a family member in hospice would hit way too close to home and be upsetting.
See it if Great cast (not a weak link) Endorsement for a one child family. A must for those of a certain age.
Don't see it if Set and the ensuing sight lines are a problem.. a nice attempt but maybe created with another stage in mind. At times some dialogue is lost
See it if New Group assembles famed female-driven cast as only they can. Dying matriarch unravels family. Exceedingly good Smith-Cameron as always.
Don't see it if Dour circumstances in poorly written play. "August Osage" w/ a darker cloud and fewer steps. The female performances shine throughout.
See it if you are interested in the best & worst that dying can bring out, specifically in a dysfunctional family; great acting; absorbing.
Don't see it if peace comes slowly for Mary Frances - a little editing would go a long ways. The 2 male characters are weak, but I guess that's the point.
“Alice and Fanny’s continuing enactment of a lifelong rivalry for Frances’s love is, in theory, perfectly believable...But they do it so bizarrely and relentlessly throughout the overlong play that you wonder what Thorne wants to show us....Every scene that seemed well-observed on the page felt dreary and obvious when performed, a problem I ascribe not to the actors...but to the mystery of stage time...Staged with uncharacteristic awkwardness by the terrific director Lila Neugebauer."
"I never imagined I would spend a whole night hoping Lois Smith would die, but such is the unexpected effect. Smith is not to blame : At 87, the great stage actor is in peak form, and gives a detailed, convincing performance...The situation is rife with potential tension, but first-time playwright Thorne and director Lila Neugebauer can’t seem to locate it. Dramatic events arise and disappear willy-nilly...Most of the play (at least half) seems like dull, episodic flab."
“Proves so lifeless that you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of wishing its main character would get on with it. It's a shame, because a formidable ensemble of talented actors has been assembled...But their efforts are not enough to lift the turgid dramatics of this work by newcomer Thorne...Her inexperience is revealed in the piece's tonal inconsistency and awkward transitions, suggesting that it would have benefited from further development.”
“A new play with sensitive writing, informed acting, wise and naturalistic staging...A profound work by a fresh talent...So beautifully written that it is impossible to believe it’s the playwright’s first play...What saves 'Mary Frances' from becoming maudlin is the superb ensemble work, headed by the great Lois Smith, the sublime writing, and the naturalistic style of gifted director Lila Neugebauer that adds up to the kind of moment-to-moment realism we haven’t seen since Elia Kazan."
"Navigates a head-spinning number of subjects...With an equally unwieldy number of characters...The motivations of many characters are wildly shortchanged...Never stops feeling like a hastily edited version of a longer play...Neugebauer's usually invisible directorial hand is strangely heavy here...A relatable experience for those who've dealt with death firsthand. Thorne's first-produced play holds a clear mirror up to reality. It just forgot that its medium is theater."
"There are times when the acting talent on stage does indeed elevate the effectiveness of the material, but film producer Thorne's first stage play is more of a promising outline of a drama without sufficient embellishments to make it interesting...To its author's credit, 'Peace for Mary Frances' makes seamless glides from its funnier moments of family angst to its more subdued scenes, but the end result is more perfunctory than emotional."
"Despite its very real virtues -- not least of which is an unblinking gaze when it comes to its difficult subject -- falls some lengths short of being a real play. Not even a lovingly directed production featuring a fine cast led by the wonderful Lois Smith can entirely paper over this stubborn fact...The director, Lila Neugebauer, handles these materials with supreme delicacy, getting polished performances from her cast."
“There is an unwieldy amount of information to take in...Part of the problem lies in the fact that there are two storylines here, either of which could support a play on its own...Smith gives us a richly developed character...Neugebauer manages to keep all of the moving parts in motion within the play's overwrought structure, but there so much going on that it feels like we are binge watching a reality TV show that is unfolding in real time.”