Already closed | East Village

Notes on My Mother's Decline

From 11 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Slow, Absorbing, Indulgent, Resonant

About the show

This New York story asks how we come to know one another as parents and as children. How do we care for those we love, and what does it take to live with – and without – them? More…

From the show:

Late at night, while his baby daughter sleeps, a son makes notes on his mother’s daily life and scenes from their complicated relationship. He is shaping a play, and a perspective. Two blocks away, his mother naps, and smokes, and reads, and drinks coffee. She is shaping her existence within encroaching confines. This New York story asks how we come to know one another as parents and as children. How do we care for those we love, and what does it take to live with – and without – them?

Member Reviews (11)


Great acting, Slow, Absorbing, Indulgent, Resonant
Avg Score

Slow, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if Good acting amongst a so-so writing effort. Last 10 minutes or so was very good. Middle needs work.

Don't see it if If u want a consistent play writing effort. Lighting here needs work.

Impeccably constructed, Brilliantly staged, Beautifully played, Spare, Deeply affecting

See it if you’d like to see a powerful evocation of a protracted terminal situation & the stress it puts both on the infirm & on a family caregiver.

Don't see it if graphic details about bodily infirmity might disturb you.

Also We prize theater as an art form that’s also a communal act. But our in... Read more Read less

Resonant, Slow, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Mother and son intersecting dual "sections" with the characters crisscrossing personalities and also the caretaking roles. With projections.

Don't see it if Both universal and specific: Everyone must confront parental mortality, but these reenactments seem more descriptive personal diary entries.

Also "Love me."

Monotonous, Remote, Pretentious, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if you would enjoy the juxtaposition of monotone narration/pretentious asides by one character with a simplistic characterization of the other.

Don't see it if you don’t want to lose 70 minutes. Or 50 - the last 20 minutes had the makings of an affecting story, but the first 50 need a lot of work.

Great writing, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy minimalist shows about heavy topics that are handled with grace.

Don't see it if You don't like shows that focus on the messier sides of illness and aging.

Also The abstraction works well here, and I found the ending to be really c... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like poetry - this show is as rare as a great poem.

Don't see it if you need a traditional play

Also I would give a day of my life to see how this play has been put on, su... Read more Read less

Slow, Indulgent, Great acting, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if you are content with one excellent performance in an otherwise banal play.

Don't see it if you bore easily and object to bright lights shining in your face.

Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Delightful, Clever

See it if You like to see beautiful men on stage

Don't see it if If you don’t want nudity stay home

During previews
Great acting, Intense, Resonant, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if Emotionally devastating Lagerfeld's dominant mother & Fliako's passive son slowly reverse roles as mother's health declines A powerhouse duo

Don't see it if Clinical, dispassionate story-telling aided by austere videos (similar to Wooster Group's style) not for everyone Yet leaves one drained

During previews
Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if Delicate, tough, elegant, precise portrait of grief & its lessons. Directed with Grace. Performed beautifully.

Don't see it if If you have trouble with stories about the deep well of grief and illness, this may not be for you

During previews
Slow, Indulgent, Fluffy, Great acting

See it if Its evocative, poignant, less than 90 minutes. A decently engaging afternoon. Very talented cast, the highlight, especially the mother.

Don't see it if Nothing original here. It was slow in parts and dragged on. The shift at the end where they speak to each other was weak and boring.

October 13th, 2019
"A Son Mourns in ‘Notes on My Mother’s Decline’: Intimate but distant by design, Andy Bragen’s play takes us on a journey many are likely to face with an aging parent."
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October 17th, 2019
"Echoes Grief at Fourth Street Theatre"
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October 16th, 2019
"'Notes on My Mother's Decline' makes a persuasive argument that, ultimately, one's parents become one's children, and not very obedient ones at that."
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October 22nd, 2019
"Knud Adams directs this one-set show which at times has moments of humor, but overall is a slow-moving and usually depressing narrative. Ari Fliakos, who plays the son, gives a reserved performance. Too often I thought of the somber tones of 'The Twilight Zone's' Rod Serling."
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Cast & Creatives (3)