nytheatre.com review by Leslie Bramm
I ended my fringing this year with David Simpatico’s Mary. Part
political satire, part religious "what if’," Mary takes on the
myth of immaculate conception. He does this by using the President of
the United States and a blow job from an intern as metaphor. Sound
familiar? According to the press release, the play was written well
before the real President, the real (or surreal) blow job and the
forcing down the public’s throats of all the gooey details.
August 15, 2003
The play opens with an old-fashioned fire and brimstone sermon. This role was handled by the author himself. Simpatico shows us his skills as actor, writer and even vocalist. I enjoyed his preamble, but it comes across as an add-on, designed to showcase Simpatico’s many talents. But what the hell, if you got it flaunt it.
Next we see the President uptight and stressing. He’s less than an hour away from delivering a speech that holds within it the fate of the world. Enter Mary. Eager to please and driven by a sense of higher destiny, she is there to help the President in any way she can. He uses his power and position to coax her into an altogether different one. Until finally the question is asked, will her little game of swallow the leader result in the coming of the next messiah?
I decline to give away the ending of the play. Robin Haynes is believable as the President. He’s able to round off this man, making him more complex than the text demands. As Mary, Russell Arden Koplin anchors the play with a powerful and raw emotional performance. The text is weighty and often gives the actors quite a mouthful. Both are up to the task. The direction is by Daniella Topol, who has put together a first class production team that serves the play well. She’ll be a name to look for in the future
I would like to say I loved this play… Its style seemed dipped in situation comedy; Simpatico’s gift for language and ability to articulate his rants had me expecting more along the theatrical lines.. Simpatico does leave us with a sense of hope—a belief that maybe miracles can happen. And what if they do.