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

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

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.

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

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.

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

See it if you like an intense slice of real-life family drama with phenomenal acting and brutally honest portrayals. A DO NOT MISS PRODUCTION

Don't see it if you are triggered by family crisis involving the lingering death of the matriarch or if you dislike theatre with a decidedly sad demeanor.

Also This is one of those instances where I am going to buck other Show-Sco... Read more Read less

Great acting, Edgy, Repetitive

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

Don't see it if you don't like seeing shows that display the fragility of a very emotionally fractured dysfunctional family...

Relevant, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Slow

See it if For Lois Smith who brings life into play though spending her time trying to die. Interesting view of highly dysfunctional family.

Don't see it if Don't like overly long plays dealing with process of dying & family disfunction. Many scenes superflous & overly drawn out.

Also Mostly very strong actors doing their best with material. There are so... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy excellent ensemble acting and a quite realistic script

Don't see it if you don't like discussions and portrayals of death

Also An extremely well-written and well-acted play that is slightly depress... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intense, Absorbing, Too long, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see excellent performances in a story everyone who has experienced the death of a parent will relate to at some point

Don't see it if You recently lost a loved one and are not ready to rehash what it was like to deal with their death and hospice

Also As many other members’ reviews have said, the first half was excellent... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great staging, Confusing, Interesting

See it if you are interested in the coming together of dysfunctional family facing the death of their mother. very good actors. like naturalism.

Don't see it if You need fast pacing. Are confused by the characters feelings for one another. Dialogue is very realistic, explaining things you know.

Also Very nice small theater. I had nice seat in middle of row an back. At ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Relevant, Touching

See it if You aren’t truggered by the death of a relative and are comfortable seeing some dysfunctional intergenerational family dynamics

Don't see it if You are triggered by the idea of death and illness in a loved one and seeing the inner workings and dysfunctions among the family members

Also This was a long play and felt long to me, a little stagnant on forward... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Must see

See it if Incredible performances, great set, very realistic. Life story that touches most people who have experienced loss. Left me with goose bumps

Don't see it if want a musical, can not deal with death or family turmoil.

Great acting

See it if Lois Smith, J. Smith Cameron and Johanna Day together in a new play is as good reason as any to see this play.

Don't see it if The play is a tad too long with a few loose ends in the narrative.

Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you are a fan of good solid acting and like discovering new playwrights.

Don't see it if you are on the brink of caring for a dying parent or just did.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You like well-acted plays about families in crisis.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a family of pretty unstable, maladjusted adults at a pivotal moment in their lives, portrayed by very good actors.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Resonant

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

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if Lois Smith is a great actress. The set is perfect and it is realistic. A family dynamics show set around the dying matriarch.

Don't see it if This is a bittersweet show dealing with death and dying. Don't see it if you don't like this subject .

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if You enjoy well acted family dramas with lots of "in-fighting" like "August in Osage County".

Don't see it if You hate shows with family arguments centered around a dying mother.

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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