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Off Broadway

Miles For Mary Is Stuck In The Past

Miles For Mary Is Stuck In The Past
The Mad Ones

Photo Credit: The Mad Ones

“We’re doing this for the kids.”

The Mad Ones

Photo Credit: The Mad Ones

It’s 1988, and the planning committee for Garrison High School’s ninth annual Miles For Mary Telethon has met for the first time this year and will continue to do so, until the next year. Across subcommittee sessions in the Phys. Ed teachers’ lounge, The Mad Ones (Drama Desk-nominated) assemble during the year to make plans that get derailed by personalities and a freak snow storm. The Mad Ones are known for their collaborative efforts. Some are co-artistic directors; some are co-writers (including their director Lila Neugebauer); everyone’s a contributor.

This bittersweet comedy about high-school committee work follows the teachers of Garrison High School, as the all-volunteer group organizes a telethon in the name of a much-missed student-athlete. The goal is to raise money for two scholarships in the deceased athlete’s name. Coach Sandra (Stephanie Wright Thompson), who always wears the same outfit or the stylish English teacher Julie Wyckoff-Barnes (Stacey Yen), who is married to the nerdy and sensitive Ken (Marc Bovino), make-up part of this mismatched slice of life .Wrestling coach Roddy (Joe Curnutte) rides the stationary bike to work off his anger and excess energy. Ken (Marc Bovino) thinks they should add a phone line and acting committee chair David (Michael Dalto) tries to manage everyone’s suddenly turbulent feelings. “Do we need a real-time check-in?” he asks Julie, after technology and stress get the better part of this group. Everyone’s feelings are listened and catered to and yet arguments go full throttle.

Amy Rubin’s set is the perfect recreation of the time period, with “Be Positive Don’t Panic” and “Do More” signs, coffee brewing and an out-of-date food pyramid poster. Ásta Bennie Hostetter incredible costume’s make sure this time capsule is complete. Mike Inwoods lighting and Stowe Nelson’s sound design create the mood.

This show is an exact recreation from The Mad Ones critically acclaimed run at the Bushwick Starr Off Off-Broadway in 2016.

Miles for Mary plays on nostalgia, however if you are not nostalgic for that time frame and if slice of life shows are not for you, this show will bore you to tears. I was never one for group meetings and especially a series of them, no matter how well they are acted. This show is seriously well done, but the subject matter about hiding our feelings and time outs is long past.

Miles for Mary: Playwrights Horizon, 416 West 42nd St. until until Feb 18th.  This show is  part of Playwrights Horizons’ new Redux Series, which joins forces with kindred theater companies to remount their productions at Playwrights for a wider audience.

Off Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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