Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Typhoid Mary

Mary Mallon (September 23, 1869 – November 11, 1938), better known as Typhoid Mary, was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. She was twice forcibly isolated by public health authorities and died after a total of nearly three decades in isolation. (Wikipedia)

Last night David and I saw Mark St. Germain's play Typhoid Mary at Barrington Stage 2. It is a dramatic masterpiece about this amazing woman who worked as a cook in several New York homes after coming from Ireland.

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Heading the cast in the title role was Tasha Lawrence, who simply was Typhoid Mary. Her strong performance was the glue that held the whole play together. Angry, sympathetic, loving in turn, she captured all the emotions of this conflicted woman.

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Kevin O'Rourke was excellent as Dr. William Miller, the man who was in charge of her incarceration in one hospital where she was forced to stay out of the public eye.

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Miles G. Jackson was Father Michael McKuen/ Martin Fazier the priest who tried to give her comfort in her incarceration and a fellow sufferer of the disease. He played both parts extremely well.

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Keri Safran played another doctor, Dr. Ann Saltzer, who was not sympathetic to Mary's condition and who, at one point, thought of ending Mary's life with an injection.

Frances Evans was fine in the role of the child Sarah, in whose home Mary cooked and who loved the young girl who died of typhoid fever.

It was an engrossing evening in the theatre. Bravi to the cast and to Mark St. Germain for producing this fine work.