Already closed | 2h 35m | Midtown W

Peace for Mary Frances

From 114 member  reviews
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. 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. 

Member Reviews (114)


Great acting, Slow, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing
Avg Score

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

Lifeless, Soporific, Disappointing, Great acting, Contrived

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.

Also While it may be true that this naturalistic "slice of life" will ring ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Disappointing, Indulgent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

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

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent

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

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.

Absorbing, Relevant, Slow, Disappointing, Indulgent

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.

Absorbing, Disappointing, Great acting, Great staging, Cliched

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.

Also I would have rated this play much higher if the dysfunctional family h... Read more Read less

Insightful, Intelligent, Great acting, Edgy, Informative

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.

Overall it’s incredible

See it if You like shows that deal with dysfunctional families. If you like August Osage County you will also like this

Don't see it if If you need some of your characters to be good hearted people. Everyone is good and bad but these people are mostly bad

Also I love shows that deal with dysfunctional, messed up and really truly ... Read more Read less

Interminable, Good cast/bad play, Excruciating

See it if Want to hear details about death, dying, drug addiction through the eyes of a dysfunctional family. Are a diehard Lois Smith fan, I guess.

Don't see it if Need some kind of bearable plot, a story arc, want at least a few characters to be likable, have had a loved person in hospice care.

Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You ever had sibling disagreements while caring for an elderly parent. To see Lois Smith as a mother trying to hold her family together.

Don't see it if You dislike slow moving plays that go on long after the main point has been made. Have recently suffered a parental loss.

Also Lois Smith is a 90 year old matriarch facing her final days. The cast ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if A raw, true to life exploration of how an elder’s final days affect their entire family. Brilliant performances.

Don't see it if The second act was slow in places.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Cliched, Great acting, Excruciating

See it if you enjoy end of life drama's set in a hospice at home scenario. Lois Smith shines as do Day and Smith-Cameron

Don't see it if you enjoy cohesive even keeled dramas

Entertaining, Slow, Ambitious

See it if If you enjoy disfunctional family dramas and elder care issues or are a fan of Lois Smith

Don't see it if If you want a well developed storyline and belivable characters.

Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Too long

See it if you want to see another great performance by Lois Smith. Play kind of rambles, but the topic is important.

Don't see it if you find plays about dying depressing

Relevant, Important topic, Disappointing, Slow

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

Ambitious, Indulgent, Disappointing, Intense

See it if A fan of Lois Smith & ensemble directed by Neugebauer. Overly long realistic,play of a dying woman and dysfunctional family.

Don't see it if If you perfer light dramas. Not for the faint of heart or those who had a recent experience with death of a loved one and hospice .

This was two hours and 45 minutes of boredom, Excruciating, Slow, Banal

See it if you are a fan of J. Smith-Cameron.

Don't see it if a play about and elderly woman at the center of a family drama sounds like a light evening in the theater.

Also I was so BORED that I was ready to get up on stage and perform mercy k... Read more Read less

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

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

Indulgent, Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Great staging

See it if a fan of Lois Smith or topic of siblings coping with impending loss of parent (in talk-back, audience hailed relatability to own experience)

Don't see it if averse to scenarios of immature, unlikable adult siblings engaged in unhealthy, stagnant dynamic that drags; hospice; enigmatic matriarch.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You’re okay with “tough” theater. It explores death, addiction, family dysfunction, and end-of-life issues in a challenging absorbing play.

Don't see it if You want a “finished” product. It felt like a work in progress, with several themes left unexplored. But, it stimulated a lot of discussion.

Disappointing, Slow, Repetitive, Good acting, Interminable

See it if you love wonderful Lois Smith enough to sit through a banal, endless play, with some other good actors, esp. J. Smith Cameron

Don't see it if you have anything else to do with (almost) three hours of your life.

Also As another review said succinctly: good cast/bad play. Dysfunctional f... Read more Read less

Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You are a Lois Smith fan.

Don't see it if It is a too long bout of bickering family members waiting for Mary Frances to die. Not for you if you recently faced that situation.

Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if you like depressing plays about dying and family squabbles.

Don't see it if you want to see a well written play with proper dramatic structure. Don't see it if you are looking for a light fast moving funny play.

Great acting, Excruciating, Slow, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if you are such a fan of Lois Smith and the other actors (who are excellent) that you can endure an overlong, irritating and aimless play.

Don't see it if you like family drama to feature deft drama and an interesting family.

May 23rd, 2018
“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 d...
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May 24th, 2018
"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 playwrigh...
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May 23rd, 2018
“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 T...
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May 25th, 2018
“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 b...
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