Members say: Great acting, Slow, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

About the show

Lois Smith stars in the New Group's new wrenching and caustically funny portrait of an American family in crisis.

... Read more

Mary Frances has lived a good life; she's ninety years old and ready to die. Born to refugees fleeing the Armenian genocide, her last wish is to die peacefully at home surrounded by her family. Her dream collides with reality as three generations of explosive women flood her small New England home to battle for their family’s legacy. Mary Frances must navigate the volatile relationships of the children she raised -- or die trying. Lois Smith stars as a tenacious survivor, struggling to break the bonds that tie her to this life. 


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Tuesdays - Thursdays 
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Fridays - Sundays 
$30 Orchestra

Terms

$40 tickets valid for performance Tuesday - Thursday and $30 tickets valid for performances Friday - Sunday through June 17, 2018. Cannot be combined with any other discount or applied to previously purchased tickets. Limit 8 tickets per person. Not applicable for premium seating. Dates, programming and artists subject to change. Subject to availability. Offer may be revoked at any time. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges. All orders subject to a $2 per ticket facility fee plus an additional $6 per ticket service fee for phone and online orders.

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Terms

Cannot be combined with any other discount or applied to previously purchased tickets. Limit 8 tickets per person. Not applicable for premium seating. Dates, programming and artists subject to change. Subject to availability. Offer may be revoked at any time. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges. All orders subject to a $2 per ticket facility fee plus an additional $6 per ticket service fee for phone and online orders. 

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$45 - $59
through 5/23
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Terms

$45 tickets valid for performances from May 8 - 22, 2018. $59 tickets valid for performances May 24 - June 17, 2018. Must purchase by May 23, 2018 at 11:59pm. Cannot be combined with any other discount or applied to previously purchased tickets. Limit 8 tickets per person. Not applicable for premium seating. Dates, programming and artists subject to change. Subject to availability. Offer may be revoked at any time. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges. All orders subject to a $2 per ticket facility fee plus an additional $6 per ticket service fee for phone and online orders.

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90
The Observer

“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." Full Review

85
The Clyde Fitch Report

"Thorne’s painful and beautiful play...Neugebauer keeps the plot turns moving with delicacy and nuance. And it’s mesmerizing...The work seems at peace with allowing characters to tell their stories step by step, word by word...This new play is both heartbreaking and hopeful, presenting a stage of life that’s too long and not long enough. We’re all just doing the best we can." Full Review

75
Show Showdown

"Perhaps the main way 'Peace for Mary' distinguishes itself is its resolute lack of character growth, bridges mended, open conversations, and the other usual tropes...I am not someone who demands happy endings. But if you're going to ask me to sit through a grueling two hours and forty-five minutes, you've got to give me something. A hint of growth...Reasonably well-written, and the cast is quite good." Full Review

75
Off Off Online

"Played to perfection by Lois Smith, Mary Frances is willful, loving, selfish, tender, peevish, witty, brutal and all else that make mysteries of our mothers...Neugebauer keeps the pace ebbing and flowing as needed, and the cast’s solid performances are a testament to her work with the actors in developing their characters...One is left wishing that the play’s ending had started the second half so the love/hate relationship that torments the sisters could be resolved." Full Review

70
New York Stage Review

"Through Thorne’s first act, her handling of the mounting wreckage is strong. Everything about the increasing strain seems persuasively observed...The cast members are top-notch...Ubiquitous director Lila Neugebauer is the extremely capable referee...Observing how one specific unhappy family copes with the attenuated death-and-dying experience is welcome, although it does overstay that welcome by a few measures." Full Review

70
New York Stage Review

"Smith has an imperfect vehicle, but she rides it beautifully...The real irony of 'Peace' is that for all the resolve Mary Frances shows in her final decision, the play’s winding second act suggests that Thorne may have been undecided about how to finally wrap things up...Still, Neugebauer keeps the pace brisk and the characters, for all their flaws, sharp. And Smith is a gem...With fine support from her colleagues here, she makes 'Peace' worth the patience it requires." Full Review

70
Boy Culture

"Lois Smith is giving one of the most challenging and dynamic performances I've ever seen from an older actor...It is a nuanced and often witty characterization that is well worth sitting through the show. The show itself is less of a marvel, but it contains stellar performances and is often a queasily accurate depiction of how many of us die...The play is imperfect — it is overlong, it sometimes feels tonally akimbo, and it has a remarkably unsatisfying ending — but there is a lot of truth o... Full Review

65
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Smith is giving a searing performance...The play provides an especially nasty family portrait, with endless, mean-spirited bickering..Despite the excellent cast and the memorable acting by Smith, Thorne’s drama runs too long, a difficulty Neugebauer can’t solve even with her often piercing staging. One can tire of the infighting and feel that all that needs to be said could be done in a shorter time...There’s only so much of this family that one can or should have to take." Full Review

65
BlogCritics.org

"The play is an entertaining and often compelling comedy-drama for its first half. It will resonate with so many, especially middle-aged and sandwich-generation folk living through the stress of caring for ailing elders. But like the sharp-tongued old lady at its center, it loses focus not far into the second act...The fine cast under the direction of Lila Neugebauer makes Mary Frances’s family seem very real...Mary Frances remains compelling when she’s present, but the pacing lags." Full Review

55
Time Out New York

"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." Full Review

55
The New York Times

“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." Full Review

55
Theatermania

"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." Full Review

55
Lighting & Sound America

"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." Full Review

55
CurtainUp

“Well acted and staged but dramatically flawed play...Smith is still well enough to make any play she's in worth seeing...Woven with these fine actors, the visually attractive stagecraft and Neugebauer in the director's chair, there's no denying that this is a painful, insufficiently engaging and overly long play...While 'Peace For Mary Frances' does come with its own amusing moments, they are overshadowed by the gloomy details pertaining to how Mary is helped to reach that sought for peace." Full Review

55
Talkin' Broadway

“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.” Full Review

55
The Wrap

“End of life crises have seldom seemed so endless...Thorne has a fine ear for dialogue, deeply attuned to the way family members can nurse resentments and pick at each other’s scabs to deflect from any self-reflection...But Thorne also weighs down her drama with a lot of circuitous plotting and didactic exposition about the nature of hospice care...We are left without the climactic family confrontation or catharsis for which we’ve been bracing.” Full Review

50
CitiTour

"While you might initially think the goings-on of this dysfunctional family was meant to be the main dish of this slightly unwieldy, 2-hour-and-40 minute work, the reality is that it's ultimately the mashed potatoes and peas and carrots to the filet mignon: the plight of ailing Mary Frances, brought magnificently to life by the legendary Lois Smith in another titanic performance." Full Review

45
The Hollywood Reporter

“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.” Full Review

45
New York Theater

“An awkward slog of a play that is full of wrong moves — including a little lighthearted Anti-Semitism at its start – and largely wastes the talents of its extraordinary cast...Neugebauer does what she can with the material...There are a few watchable scenes...There are also a few details that, under different circumstances, might be intriguing...But these moments don’t compensate for all that is obvious, irrelevant or annoying.” Full Review

40
Theater Time

“This play, which lacks structure and has characters walking from room to room like robots, is directed by the usually very reliable Neugebauer. But she can add nothing to this, with thoroughly disagreeable characters in a lumbering slice of life drama...Despite some committed performances, it is a completely dismal play with characters that are either objectionable or just plain bores complete with dialogue that sinks into the mundane.” Full Review

35
This Week in New York Blog

“A lifeless drama...Feels more like an instructional primer on what to do when a loved one is dying than a dramatic work that sheds light on what can be a devastating time...Neugebauer has little to work with here, unable to bring life to Thorne’s deadening dialogue and forced conflicts...Despite an extremely talented director and an acting legend, Thorne’s debut is on life support from the beginning, and it goes on far too long before the plug is pulled.” Full Review

25
Theatre Reviews Limited

"There are many victims in the new family drama, but perhaps the audience is the most unfortunate casualty, having to suffer through this slow, protracted, insipid production for over two-and-a-half hours...The script is too contrived and contains many contradictions that undermine characters credibility and creates unconvincing situations...The competent cast attempt to dig deep into their characters, but it seems impossible to bring any depth to the shallow script." Full Review


86
Absorbing, Great acting

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.

70
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy a play about family and the drama within. This play hit home since the topic was fresh and up to date.

Don't see it if You do not like to watch plays about death. This show deals with the dying matriarch who has been placed in hospice care.

Also This play shows a disfunctional family at their absolute worst. The we... Read more Read less

60
Relevant, Disappointing, Slow, Important topic

See it if dysfunctional family and dying mother, some funny & some touching moments; with aging population issues of end-of-life care are important

Don't see it if very, very slow; many characters with many issues - too much going on; actors good but characters not really developed

Also I have had experience with end-of-life issues & think that the writer ... Read more Read less

59
Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated, Slow

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

49
Banal, Excruciating, Cliched, Insipid, Slow

See it if you have to, forced to, are dragged there. This is a messy, plodding eve.

Don't see it if you value your time. This play is not ready to be in a production.

45
Slow, Melodramatic, Tiresome, Unearned

See it if you need to see Lois Smith

Don't see it if you have anything else on your list to see.

35
Disappointing, Choppy, Not-believable, Badly written, An excruciating 3 hours

See it if You are 'dying' to see Lois Smith, but even her character is so badly written and directed....

Don't see it if You have even moderate expectations of believable characters or storytelling. This is a sad, sad play and production.

Also I love The New Group, but this production is simply a bust -- not read... Read more Read less

75
Great acting, Disappointing, Slow

See it if Good performances and an occasional laugh are enough for you.

Don't see it if You're looking for something original or profound.

95
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Moving

See it if you appreciate an unflinching look at family politics. Uncompromising with great performances by the whole cast--brava Smith, Cameron, Day.

Don't see it if you don't have the patience for unhurried naturalism.

92
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Raw

See it if You love great naturalistic acting in a good ensemble. Intense, raw,family drama with real humor. Lois Smith threw in some lol zingers!

Don't see it if You don't care for powerful family drama around a 90yo woman who decides to die at home sans pain.. If you want light entertainment.

88
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Slow, Emotional

See it if You enjoy family dramas. This is a great cast; so many wonderful moments between characters.

Don't see it if If you're going through family drama, this show may be triggering for you. Some scenes could use revision, as pacing could get little slow.

88
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Powerful, Emotional

See it if Powerful, raw, real exploration of the end-of-life of a 90-yr old woman & the complicated, sad & messy dynamics of her caretaking children.

Don't see it if Saw 1st preview; needs trimming. If you have experienced aging parent/hospice issues, you will find it real & very emotional to watch.

Also This play packs an emotional wallop to anyone who has been through thi... Read more Read less

86
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining, Realistic

See it if You like dysfunctional family dramas. Very accurate portrayal of family dealing w/ a dying parent. Great acting & interesting characters.

Don't see it if You aren't in the mood for heavier drama. It's on the longer side but I felt engaged and invested in the story the entire time.

Also The story is something everyone can relate or will relate to at one po... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Long

See it if Intense, heartbreaking story of a dysfunctional family dealing with a matriarch's end-of-life experience. Very believable​ characters.

Don't see it if End-of-life stories are not your cup of tea. In early previews was almost 3 hours long.

Also This is not for the faint of heart as the issue of mortality is non-es... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see an amazing cast act their faces off

Don't see it if If minor script issues​ will bother you too much

82
During previews
Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Emotionally impactful

See it if End of life issues face elderly woman, her children and grandchildren, jealousy, resentment, money, inheritance, letting go, saying good bye

Don't see it if You don’t want to see a dysfunctional family and aren’t ready to consider the effects of death.

81
During previews
Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if See great acting that everyone can probably relate too. And from a first-time playwright which makes one feel in on a great career ahead.

Don't see it if Tough to take as it makes one think of one's own mortality and family dynamics. Skip it if looking for something light.

80
During previews
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if Go for the acting, go because a good play makes us see into ourselves. The play deals with tough issues with no easy answers.

Don't see it if You prefer a comedy. This is not a comedy.

80
During previews
Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Masterful, Profound

See it if You are interested in end of life issues and want to see a family that is probably more dysfunctional than the one you grew up in.

Don't see it if You don't want to confront end of life issues. It is a very intense show with a lot of yelling. But there is also a lot of laughter.

79
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you're interested in a drama about a dysfunctional family with mother on hospice who are selfish and neglect what the mom wants/needs.

Don't see it if you recently lost a parent or loved one and this might be too emotional for you with character on her death bed. Slow and needs many cuts.

78
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Needs editing, Relatable

See it if for Lois Smith's great performance or for a dramatization of matters of end of life, the elderly and family.

Don't see it if hospice care and end of life issues are not your cup of tea for entertainment.

75
During previews
Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant, Riveting

See it if You’re interested in dysfunctional families

Don't see it if You’re looking for a musical.,

75
During previews
Slow, Ok, Depressing, long

See it if you want to see a play about fighting siblings assigned to watch their mother's home hospice & all their dirty laundry aired out to us.

Don't see it if you don't want to see the ugliness of a family waiting for a parent to die, & all the jealousies & hate coming out among them over her care.

75
During previews
Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you like family dramas with several characters' lives intertwining

Don't see it if you get fidgety if a show is too long (could definitely have cut it)

75
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Relevant

See it if I liked it a great deal since each of us knows a family member or someone who has been in an end of life situation.

Don't see it if you cannot deal with end of life issues, a dysfunctional family setting, hospice care or terminal illness.


Cast & Creatives (16)