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Wickedest Woman

From 4 critic and 35 member reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing, Intelligent, Ambitious

About the show

This new drama follows the epic story of New York City midwife and abortionist Ann Trow Lohman's life in the 1800s. More…

When Lohman started performing abortions in 1838, they were legal in the US. When she committed suicide, almost 40 years later at the end of her career, they were illegal. "Wickedest Woman" traces Lohman’s rise to notoriety and her struggle to keep her life intact as the scrutiny and even physical danger became ever more intense. A story about the history of abortions, reproductive rights, and a forgotten legacy. 


“Brilliantly written and using historical documents and transcripts, Jessica Bashline's ‘Wickedest Woman’ tells a fascinating but true story. It has been given a riveting, cinematic production by Strange Sun Theater Company directed by Melissa Crespo at WP Theater. Based entirely on the facts of the case, the play is an indictment of medical, social and political hypocrisy in 19th century New York City with Ann having crossed important and powerful financial interests.” Full Review

Culture Catch

“The production is replete with great details, from gender-blind doubling of the cast, to the semi-impressionistic set...the mix of accents in the play's NYC, and the effective snatches of traditional songs...O'Hara-Baker is superb. Her complex, deeply human, and dignified portrayal of Ann is enthralling right through its moving conclusion...The rest of the cast brings strong performances to a range of roles...This is one time that seeing the doctor is something to look forward to.” Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"Jessica O’Hara-Baker is absolutely stunning. Her Ann Lohman is passionate, matter of fact, and severe to enemies and compassionate to patients...The ensemble of actors were constantly playing opposite genders – a clear and powerful choice by director Melissa Crespo – and they excel...At a time when media is fighting to affect and shape our collective perspective, Strange Sun Theater’s production of 'Wickedest Woman' is a reminder that there is always more to the story." Full Review

Manhattan With a Twist

"Jessica O’Hara Baker gives a fierce, intense performance that carries the show. She’s electrifying to watch, and her presence is missed in the few moments she’s offstage for a costume change...The production is thoughtfully directed by Melissa Crespo...'Wickedest Woman' is a play worth braving the cold weather for, to see the story of an exceptional woman whose modern relevance is, at once, depressing and inspiring." Full Review

Wicked good.

See it if you like intelligent, thought-provoking dramas with a feminist slant.

Don't see it if a pro-abortion play would turn you off.

Also A biographical drama about one of the first female abortionists in the... Read more Read less

Fascinating, Historically accurate, Great writing, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if A fascinating portrait of a woman who makes history in 1800’s New York. If you enjoy realistic drama see this it’s your kind of play !

Don't see it if You are looking for escapist drama and or you can’t deal with plays that portray the subject of abortion. Otherwise see it, you will learn !

Great staging, Great writing, Relevant

See it if you are a champion of women's rights and are interested in the history of the movement for choice. See it if you appreciate story-theatre

Don't see it if I can't think of a reason why someone --even if they don't believe in contraception or abortion - wouldn't at least be interested in the

Also history of the medical issues involved here or in New York State histo... Read more Read less

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

See it if you want to be surprised. This play was wickedly good. Entire cast was multi-talented and the production was tight with no glaring miscues

Don't see it if a biographical drama about a female abortionist in 19th century NYC would not interest you, but you would be missing a worthwhile night out.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great writing, Relevant

See it if you like engaging stories, great acting and design elements. Also, if you're interested in New York stories.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in plays with strong female characters and stories.

Also This is a really beautiful production, the cast is exceptional and the... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if you're interested in a beautifully written, beautifully acted play about a 19th century midwife and abortionist in NYC.

Don't see it if you want a light evening of theater that won't make you think.

Must see, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like to learn about unknown parts of history - esp as far as women's rights are concerned.

Don't see it if You need a purely liner story, or hate the characters talking directly to the audience.

Also This was an interesting piece of history I didn't know about and thoug... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Must see, Thought-provoking, Great story, Historical

See it if you enjoy learning about cool true stories. If you like NYC stories, stories of strong women. Great set & costumes. Love the writing & cast.

Don't see it if you are not open to gender-neutral​ casting.

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Mostly good acting, Informative

See it if interested​ in 19th century positions about abortion & one woman's crusade to help those in need. Based on Ann Lohman's life. New to me.

Don't see it if you don't like gender bending actors playing multiple roles. Some better than others.

Also Lead actress, Jessica O'Hara-Baker, was terrific.

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

See it if You are drawn to feminist-themed and/or historical works. This is a solid, intelligent, well-written, well-acted piece.

Don't see it if You have strong pro-life convictions. You are a highly unforgiving theater-goer. There’s some subpar acting. Could use tweaking.

Also This is a fascinating, thought-provoking work. O’Hara-Baker gives a st... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You’re interested in the history of women’s reproductive rights—the story is so moving!

Don't see it if You are offended by abortion and can’t emphathize with the humanity behind the beginning of the legality debate.

Also I saw this on opening night and it was already very polished! The set ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Informative, Great writing, Great lead performance

See it if to see a riveting 19th C historical musical drama about a fascinating (& shockingly unheralded) abortionist who became a NYC socialite.

Don't see it if u expect an abortion debate [This is notably non-political]; ur stridently anti-abortion & apathetic to the history of women's health issues

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

See it if You want to see a powerful story about one of the most famous women to perform abortions in the 19th century and the problems she faced

Don't see it if You're anti-abortion or don't like stories based on true stories.

Also I thoroughly enjoyed the show, as I thought the story was absolutely f... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great staging, Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to be surprised by a historical event that is deeply relevant with what’s happening now; strong leading actress;

Don't see it if You’re too sentive with abortion-related topics or are not into shows with strong political message;

Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Relevant

See it if You like historical pieces. You like feminist pieces. The subject of a female abortionist in 1800s New York intrigues you.

Don't see it if The abortion theme puts you off. The acting is uneven. Very good as a whole, but some elements need work.

Also Jessica O’Hara-Baker is incredible as Madame Restell. She’s captivatin... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if Interesting, unusual, unfamiliar subject matter done in a compelling way. absorbing performances.

Don't see it if you don't like actors playing more than one role, opposite sex, etc. Or, if actors talk directly to audience.

Accurately researched writing, Creative set constructed of scavenged material, Great acting mixed with folk music, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if Seven actors portray multiple roles in a bioplay of Ann Lohman in 19th century NY who provided birth control and abortion services.

Don't see it if Unfortunately still relevant, freely available birth control & abortion when needed was & is a political issue rather than personal decision

Absorbing, Great acting, Epic, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like historical dramas or are passionate about women's equality or reproductive rights... or if you're a fan of Jessica O'Hara-Baker.

Don't see it if you prefer upbeat peppy shows or if you're squarely anti-choice.

Also For a small production this show is exquisite, with a nice big set, go... Read more Read less

Informative, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Ambitious, Clumsy

See it if In late 19th century abortion & potions for it, were legal. Who knew? That woman's (who rose to become a multi millionaire) story & tragedy

Don't see it if It's clumsy-writer seems caught between actual court records & patching in rest of her story to fill play. Her personality/relations uneven~

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if To understand more about the history of women's rights and reproductive health in the US and to get inspired

Don't see it if If you are not open to seeing abortion as a way to protect women's health and economic liberty

Intelligent, Informative, Insightful, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if Well researched, written & acted bio. Excellent characterization of Madame Restell. I didn't know that abortion was legal in 1850.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy bio shows. You are uninterested in the history of abortion and how today's controversy relates to the late 19th century.

Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if interested in a pioneer of women's reproductive health and choice. You like a biographical play dealing with relevant issues.

Don't see it if you feel you are entitled to control women's bodies, decision making, birth control, health care and reproduction.

Also Enjoyed the acting, song and staging. Slows a little after the angry m... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Should be a household name, Clunky pace

See it if In your face regarding your right to choose! Historical provider of reproductive choice who could also play the game as well as anyone.

Don't see it if dislike having to be ideologically aligned to the show to like it. Coherent production but rough edges.

Also The existence and obscurity of this person is fascinating and O’Hara-B... Read more Read less

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

See it if Sharp, intelligent writing from Bashline infuses docu-drama about 'infamous' woman abortionist & health advocate O"Hara-Baker shines in lead

Don't see it if Strongest when following facts of Lohman's life & career; gets a little questionable when going personal esp around mother/daughter conflict

Absorbing, Fascinating history, Nice staging, Thought-provoking, Topic quite relevant today (sadly)

See it if Like dramatizations of historical people/events. This a good example of when that works. Direction/lead good, nice use of music, interesting

Don't see it if Don't want story re women's health rights/abortion. This does slow down in the middle and could use some editing. Not all cast measure up.