Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Mary, Mary" Is Very, Very Merry

Cleveland Press April 1, 1965

Even if you have seen "Mary, Mary," you will find it thoroughly enjoyable in seeing it again. First of all this production is worthy of the play. Secondly, the play itself has something to offer the second time around.

The immediate cause for enjoyment is playwright Jean Kerr's wonderful dialog -- vivacious, witty and often telling repartee.

BUT BEYOND THIS is her plot based on character observation. The plot itself isn't much, but what there is grows so naturally out of the personalities of the people on stage that the play has little of the awkwardness of manipulation.

"Mary, Mary" is about a couple just a few weeks short of their final divorce decree. He is a publisher, a man given to self analysis and self-recrimination, a man who sees all sides of the problem but misses the problem itself.

His wife has an uncontrollable urge to make witty comments, a practice that can throw cold water on a passionate moment.

HE IS ABOUT TO remarry, this time to a clear thinking, health food addict. His wife is about to be swept off her feet by a smooth talking actor. Commenting wryly on all of this is the publisher's lawyer.

From observing that he cannot afford a divorce, the husband soon realizes that he doesn't want one. But by then it is almost too late.

But mutual incompatibility finds a way and all ends happily.

JUDITH ADAMS is delightful as Mary, believable as a woman who can drop comments that sting yet does so without malice.

Richard Oberlin is doleful as the perplexed publisher. He plays the role straight, a foil for the others.

As the other woman, Suzanne Sullivan is pretty and practical and even a little sympathetic. Robert Allman injects a certain amount of world weariness into his part, a man who thinks nothing will surprise him any more but finds a few things the do.

GEORGE VAFIADIS portrays the actor as the pompous type, but not so much so as to make it a caricature.

This is a play loaded with good lines and the cast know what to do with them. The Play House is wise to book "Mary, Mary" for seven weeks. In the end it ma be hardly enough.