Welcome to My Nightmary
nytheatre.com review by Gyda Arber
August 15, 2004
At first glance, it's difficult to tell where Welcome to my Nightmary is headed. As we enter the small theatre, we are presented with a messy bedroom inhabited by a woman who appears to be mentally disturbed, drawing pictures and talking to herself. When the play begins, it takes some time to figure out that the show is, in fact, a comedy, but when the shift occurs, we are rewarded with some very funny stuff.
Mary (played by writer/performer Mary Crosbie), the only character on stage, is a recovering alcoholic, having a great deal of difficulty with both her recovery and her annoying and very audible neighbors (off-stage voices by Mary Q. Archias and Jason Sutherland). The situation isn't helped by her nightmares (presented on a nearby TV screen) in which her twin brother instructs her to "kill." Despite this disturbing premise, Mary lightens things up when she talks to the audience, providing humorous anecdotes about her life as a drunk. Some of the most rewarding moments in the show occur when her AA sponsor calls (we see him on the TV screen as well), who has a few things to ask Mary.
Crosbie is a gifted actress, committing to both the drama and the humor of her character's plight. It is clear, however, that she has been blessed with great comedic talents—I would have liked to have seen the comedy emerge much earlier in the show. Archias and Sutherland do good work as a multitude of loud neighbors, Norm Rosen's videos blend seamlessly into the performance (kudos to Crosbie for interacting so well with them), and Andy Boorman, seen only on video, provides a hysterically funny characterization as Mary's AA sponsor.
Though Welcome to my Nightmary may not be the most fully realized show at FringeNYC, Crosbie’s performance is well worth the price of admission. The program notes indicate that she is a comedienne and appears on the MNN channel—I look forward to seeing her work again in the near future.