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The Broadway Review: ‘Mother Play’ — Paula Vogel’s mother of a memory play

Vogel’s nuanced exploration of her own family sets the stage for a profound and humorous new American play. 

(L-R) Jim Parsons, Jessica Lange and Celia Keenan-Bolger in “Mother Play,” Broadway, 2024 (Credit: Joan Marcus)

Good morning, and welcome to Broadway News’ Broadway Review by Brittani Samuel — our overview of reactions, recommendations and information tied to last night’s Broadway opening of “Mother Play.” 


(L-R) Celia Keenan-Bolger and Jim Parsons in “Mother Play,” Broadway, 2024 (Credit: Joan Marcus)

Paula Vogel may be playwriting royalty, but if her latest work “Mother Play” is any indication, she has not lost sight of the instruction in the first half of her job title: play. In this new, often funny mashup between a memory play and an apartment tragedy (Vogel calls it “a play in five evictions”), the dramatist turns her typically insightful lens on her own family. The work is largely autobiographical about her complicated mother and her intermittently successful attempts to care for and accept her queer children, Carl (Jim Parsons) and Martha (Celia Keenan-Bolger). Phyllis (Jessica Lange) is the play’s booze-bolstered matriarch.

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