Marvin’s Room BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • NEWSDAY

  • EW

  • DAILY NEWS

Opening Night:
June 29, 2017
Closing:
August 27, 2017

Theater: American Airlines / 227 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Estranged sisters Lee and Bessie have never seen eye to eye. Lee is a single mother who's been busy raising her troubled teenage son, Hank. Bessie's got her hands full with their elderly father and his soap opera-obsessed sister. When Bessie is diagnosed with leukemia, the two women reunite for the first time in 18 years. Are Lee’s good intentions and wig-styling skills enough to make up for her long absence? Can Bessie help Hank finally feel at home somewhere… or at least keep him from burning her house down? Can these almost-strangers become a family in time to make plans, make amends, and maybe make a trip to Disney World?

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Marvin’s Room

    In ‘Marvin’s Room,’ Who Will Care for the Caregiver?

    Jesse Green

    Are we grimmer or dumber or colder than we were in 1991, when Frank Rich, in The New York Times, called Scott McPherson’s “Marvin’s Room” “one of the funniest plays of this year as well as one of the wisest and most moving”? He did so even while noting that this “healing” comedy, then opening Off Broadway, featured three major characters dying or disintegrating — and a bunch of others arguably worse off.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Marvin’s Room

    TimeOut Review of Marvin's Room

    Adam Feldman

    Bessie (Lili Taylor) is a living saint, but probably not for long. She has spent 20 years of her life tending to her stroke-stricken father Marvin—whom we see only through thick glass, as a whimpering blur—and her chronically ill aunt Ruth (an amiably shambling Celia Weston). Now that Bessie herself has leukemia, her survival may depend on less generous family members: her sister, Lee (a flinty Janeane Garofalo), whom she hasn’t seen in years, and Lee’s two sons, the brooding Hank (Jack DiFalco) and the recessive Charlie (Luca Padovan). Although they have troubles of their own—Hank is in a mental hospital after burning down their house—they visit Bessie in Florida for bone marrow tests to see if they can serve as donors.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • NEWSDAY REVIEW OF Marvin’s Room

    Lili Taylor, Janeane Garofalo in emotional, funny but uneven premiere

    Matt Windman

    Twenty-five years after playwright Scott McPherson died at 33 of AIDS, his 1990 comedic drama “Marvin’s Room” (which was adapted into a starry 1997 film) is receiving its Broadway premiere in an uneven production by the Roundabout Theatre Company led by Lili Taylor (“American Crime”) and Janeane Garofalo (“Wet Hot American Summer”), who is making her Broadway debut.

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF Marvin’s Room

    Marvin's Room is merely serious when you wish it would be moving

    Allison Adato

    With the whole of theater history on the shelf, what makes a producer reach for a particular show to re-stage? Beyond a don’t-miss pairing of a classic role and a magnetic star (see: Hello, Dolly and Bette Midler), it helps for a revival to resonate — topically, emotionally — with present-day audiences. That’s a harder task for a returning show in which the story is contemporaneous with its original premiere (Dolly, for instance, never ages because, even in 1964, it swept audiences to the turn of the century). Unfortunately, this first Broadway production of Marvin’s Room never quite justifies its trip back to the early ’90s. While not a conspicuous period piece, it resists updating, and yet lacks the emotional power and resonance to move us from its long-ago vantage.

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  • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS REVIEW OF Marvin’s Room

    'Marvin's Room' with Lili Taylor and Janeane Garofalo as sisters

    Joe Dziemianowicz

    Look closely and you’ll see that Lili Taylor and Janeane Garofalo share a faint resemblance. For their roles as estranged sisters in “Marvin’s Room,” that comes in handy.

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