|Marcia DeBonis, Tatiana Maslany |
Photo: Joan Marcus
In addition to the unique casting, Mary Page Marlowe is steadfastly non-chronological. Breaking chronology can be an excellent device if the thru line of the play has its own growth and development. But Mary Page Marlowe doesn't. Instead, the mixing up of time periods seems only a way to add spice and suspense to a garden-variety story.
The combination of multi-casting, monotone, and non-chronology keeps the audience at arm's length. It doesn't help that sometimes we see only a performer's profile for an entire scene. Was Maslany good in the therapy scene? I don't know. I never saw her face.
Mary Page Marlowe feels like a terribly missed opportunity. It hurts to see such a large and wonderful cast (18 people in a one-act play!) given so little to do.
(tdf ticket; row L)