Already closed | 1h 30m | Upper W Side

Wickedest Woman

From 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. 


Member Reviews (35)

MEMBERS SAY:

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing, Intelligent, Ambitious
81
Avg Score

75
Absorbing, Fascinating history, Runs out of steam, Well-staged, Needs tightening

See it if you're interested in abortion history. Theatrical presentn of info w/oft-broken 4th wall. Gr story of strg woman, staged creatively. Singing

Don't see it if you get impatient; loses focus. Some scenes drag. Uneven acting skills. Sad (true) ending. Effective gender-bending roles. Google-ready.

80
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.

83
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

79
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

69
Ambitious, Banal, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you're interested in the abortion debate, curious about a historic figure in the birth control/abortion movement in NYC, strong female lead

Don't see it if you're not interested in a play about a proficient abortionist in late 19th century or biographical works that are repetitive or strident

74
Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if To learn about a historical figure you probably have never heard of. Totally gender fluid: women playing men, men playing pregnant women.

Don't see it if A bit amateurish. More like a history lesson than a fully realized play. Acting was good. Serious, not for you if you want something light.

Also The unique casting choices worked. Very interesting to learn how women... Read more Read less

94
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 !

78
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.

81
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

79
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

86
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.

69
Ambitious, Slow, Relevant, Disappointing

See it if Based on historical facts of early American attitudes and laws on birth control and abortion.The female lead is a standout .

Don't see it if Do not see if you expect a polished presentation or have rigid attitudes concerning abortion.

69
Ambitious, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to learn more about women's medical history. You want to support new work.

Don't see it if You want a polished product (it's trying to do too much right now, and is a bit muddy).

73
Relevant, Important topic, Thought-provoking, Inconsistent quality of acting, Plays it safe

See it if you are interested in a historical tale of women & empowerment issues re.: birth control, abortion, midwifery in pre- Margaret Sanger days

Don't see it if You have strong moral/religious/political issues about women in "medicine": want to see uniformly polished acting

Also It was an enlightening story I had never heard before. I thought Jessi... Read more Read less

80
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

81
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~

69
Mixed messages amid multiple styles

See it if You are interested in the history of legal and illegal abortion in 1800’s New York personified by Madam Restell, immigrant & single mother.

Don't see it if The mixture of styles including musical interludes, Greek chorus and men playing women, actually quite well, is just too much. The story,

Also is based on an actual historical figure who gained notoriety and a hug... Read more Read less

82
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.

92
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.

85
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

83
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;

80
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

82
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

75
Great acting, Slow, Intense, Cliched

See it if you like true stories about historical women, shows without intermission, costume/period pieces and plays which features folk music.

Don't see it if you are pro-life, don't like biopic plays, need an intermission, crave accent consistency or will get distracted by a weak script.

81
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


January 24th, 2019
“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 ...
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January 23rd, 2019
“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 ent...
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January 24th, 2019
"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 w...
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January 22nd, 2019
"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 t...
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