Mary, Me | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Mary, Me 

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Mary, Me, Free Associates, at the Ivanhoe Theater. There was of course Bloody Mary, successor to the throne of Henry VIII. And Mary Read, the pirate captain. And Mary Wollstonecraft, champion of women's rights. Even Mary Magdalene, no slouch either. But the only Mary who preoccupies the two damsels who inhabit Mary, Me is the magna mater herself, upon whose head her two namesakes dump all the blame for their dissatisfactions.

Mary Fahey and Mary Olivieri's saga of female bonding has a certain nostalgic warmth as long as their two clueless characters are young enough to have an excuse. But by the time one of them laments her 33rd birthday in the same whimpery baby voice she's affected from the beginning, you want to shake these ninnies and demand that they grow up.

Mary, Me probably started out to be a lighthearted look at the inevitable misery of a Catholic upbringing, but the martyrdom of these two is so exasperating that one can't imagine them eliciting sympathy from any but the similarly infantile.

--Mary Shen Barnidge


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