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#1MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/2/24 at 12:13am

Paula Vogel’s latest work, Mother Play: A Play in Five Evictions, receives its world premiere on Broadway. Previews begin tomorrow night (April 3) at the Helen Hayes Theatre before an April 25 opening. The three-person play stars Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jessica Lange, and Jim Parsons; Tina Landau directs. Mother Play runs through June 16. 

“It’s 1962, just outside of D.C., and matriarch Phyllis is supervising her teenage children, Carl and Martha, as they move into a new apartment. Phyllis has strong ideas about what her children need to do and be to succeed, and woe be the child who finds their own path. Bolstered by gin and cigarettes, the family endures — or survives — the changing world around them. Blending flares of imaginative theatricality, surreal farce, and deep tenderness, this beautiful roller coaster ride reveals timeless truths of love, family, and forgiveness.”

Who’s going?

Life is the most precious gift in the world... embrace every moment

EDSOSLO858 Profile Photo
#2MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/3/24 at 9:40pm

TodayTix listed runtime is 1:30, no intermission. 

Life is the most precious gift in the world... embrace every moment

Obsidian Shard
#3MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/4/24 at 12:04am

I see this in a few weeks. I can't wait. I have front row seats, too, and the it looks like view will be great. Videos and pictures are starting to emerge on Twitter and Instagram.

Updated On: 4/4/24 at 12:04 AM

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#4MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/4/24 at 9:28am

Any reports/feedback from last night? Going Sunday eve. 

Bettyboy72 Profile Photo
#5MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/4/24 at 2:40pm

Obsidian Shard said: "I see this in a few weeks. I can't wait. I have front row seats, too, and the it looks like view will be great. Videos and pictures are starting to emerge on Twitter and Instagram.


I was front row for Torch Song and I found the view a little obstructed. The stage felt high. The further back they were the less I could see.

"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello

#7MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/5/24 at 12:30pm

I am seeing the show in two weeks.  Any information regarding the stage door after the show would be appreciated. I have been a fan of Jessica Lange forever and it would be such a thrill to have her sign my playbill (or windowcard if available). Thanks! 

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Jordan Catalano
#8MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/5/24 at 12:33pm

I would be very surprised if Lange stage doored. I believe she stopped doing that a number of years ago due to a stalker?

#9MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/5/24 at 10:14pm

Saw this tonight. I really did not care for it. It felt like a play from the 80s that was dusted off and put on. Fairly cliche and nothing particularly interesting or groundbreaking about it. The cast overall was fine. I did not care for Jim Parsons, but Celia and Jessica gave good performances, but I’ve much preferred both in other things. 

In The Jackson Heights
#10MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/7/24 at 12:52am

I saw the Saturday matinee. 

The performances definitely elevate the material.  There isn't a plot development that you don't see coming a mile away.  For me, How I Learned to Drive is one of the most powerful pieces of theater I've seen and this nowhere in that league.  This is almost cliched and tonally it's all over the place.

You're really going for Jessica Lange and she doesn't disappoint.  She's not doing anything you've never seen from her, but it's amazing to watch her do her thing as 'woman who is barely holding it together' and others.  There is an extended scene with no dialogue and I was mesmerized watching her.

Jim Parsons and Celia Keenan Bolger are also great, but they are not given as much to do.  It took a little bit for me to get over the fact that they are playing pre-adolescents when the show opens and are in their teens for at least the first third of the show.  Lange's character is mid-thirties at the outset.

It's an hour and 40 minutes in those cramped seats at the Hayes, but it didn't feel long to me.  Even with the comparatively weak material, watching Jessica Lange was a joy and it zipped by.

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east side story
#11MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/7/24 at 8:37am

Seeing this in a few weeks, and greatly appreciate the input. Loved Lange in her last NY stage outing, so I am looking forward to this one.

Obsidian Shard
#12MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/7/24 at 1:24pm

Truth be told, I love that this show seems to be a showpiece for Lange. Incidentally, Vogel has admitted that this is an autobiographical play about and dedicated to her mother. I wonder if she chose to maintain the story more grounded and true to life as a result. I also wonder if she'll continue rewrites throughout and perhaps even after the previews. In either case, I can't wait to see this in two weeks.

BWAY Baby2
#13MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/7/24 at 7:56pm

Saw the show today- 2PM show- it ran till almost 4. LOVED IT!It brought me to tears- and when I discussed it with the lady sitting in front of me- she was in tears, too. This play is about family love- the intensity of it- and the imperfections that don't allow us to fully express our love and support. A very intense exploration- and the acting was amazing. I highly recommend this show. I absolutely loved it. I love drama- and intense emotional explorations- and this show is a showcase for both. If you love great acting- seeing Lange- seeing Parsons-- will definitely be a show that will hit you hard. It did for me- and my sister. 

Updated On: 4/7/24 at 07:56 PM

Obsidian Shard
#14MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/7/24 at 8:23pm

For those of you have seen the play, can you post a comment in this thread regarding your seating experience? Thanks!


Obsidian Shard
#15MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/9/24 at 3:40pm


#16MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/10/24 at 10:27pm

Wonderful performances in a very good play. I still expect some tightening.

Lots of tears tonight. 

Updated On: 4/10/24 at 10:27 PM

#17MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/12/24 at 12:37am

Any discounts out there for this? 

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#18MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/13/24 at 9:13am

Runs close to an hour forty-five. Seated house left, orchestra, about 5 rows from the stage. 

I liked this, quite a bit. No, it's not groundbreaking like you might expect from Vogel, but personal, sometimes difficult and painful. 

The performances are outstanding. I think it might be CKB's best performance. Lange is still tremendous, even though she's still struggling in a few places on lines. (Celia saved her once.) I think both women could see noms. Parsons is terrific, but I don't think you feel like it's anything new from him. In fact, take all of his roles and mash them together and it's in this character. (There's even a rabbit!)

I agree with a previous poster, I'd love to Vogel work one more time on this, could make for a terrific film.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.

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#19MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/14/24 at 10:59pm

Incredibly gratifying watching Jessica Lange's performance   There is one moment in the play where there is no dialogue, a few seconds really of her on stage alone and the power, sadness, regret and intensity in her eyes is something to behold.  That is Acting.   

The play, at a perfectly paced 95 minutes, is highly entertaining, heartfelt and often quite funny.  Paula Vogel has written some really wonderful scenes and a good play.  A few directorial choices though felt odd to me.  Watching Jessica Lange move around some of the set in between scenes, as do Cecila and Jim, was distracting. No, I don't want to see THE Jessica Lange pushing around the set in between scenes.  And while I enjoyed the bright inviting color lit frame of the stage - the set design framed inside  seemed a wee bit too cluttered and perhaps even too small at the same time.  

The audience tonight was so engaged and enthusiastic.  Lots of applause in between scenes, lots of laughter and certainly some tears. 

Cecila is absolutely fantastic in this as well - Jim is strong too.  I forgot who said this but yeah Jim is doing kind of what we have seen him do before which totally works for this character. I wish I saw Jim do Act Of God.  Saw it with Sean Hayes in LA who was fantastic in that role but I digress. 

Overall a strong enjoyable evening at the theater - and the Helen Hayes is such a good theater because it is so intimate. 


Updated On: 4/15/24 at 10:59 PM

#20MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/14/24 at 11:04pm

Has anyone gone to the stage door after the show? 

#21MOTHER PLAY Previews
Posted: 4/16/24 at 9:55pm

I did not care for this at all.

The script felt like a Torch Song Trilogy knockoff -- the narrative felt tired and 40 years out of date.  Celia Keenan Bolger and Jim Parsons were good, although they're both giving exactly the performances you'd expect from them.  

Jessica Lange, on the other hand, was baffling.  Her characterizations were inconsistent.   I couldn't see any intentionality behind her choices.  And it felt like she was grasping for her lines throughout the show.  To the point that I started wondering if she was okay.

And I know she's capable of greatness -- I saw her Long Day's Journey, and it was one of the most compelling performances I've ever seen.  So I don't know what was going on or if it was just an off night or if they're making significant rewrites, and she's struggling to keep up.  I don't know...but it was rough to me.

I hope this was just a one off and that other people have better experiences with this production, but I really really struggled with it.

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