‘Mary Jane’ Review: When Parenting Means Intensive Care

Soon after Alex was born at 25 weeks, with multiple catastrophic disorders, Mary Jane’s husband, unable to cope, fled their marriage. Still, she hopes he “finds some peace, I really do.”

She also thinks kindly of her boss, who means to accommodate her but pretty much fails to. “It’s daily moral agony for her,” Mary Jane marvels. “It’s really something to behold.”

Mary Jane’s own moral agony is likewise something to behold. She feels guilty about putting the super of her Queens building, where she shares a junior one-bedroom with Alex, in a difficult position by removing the window guards. “It’s just that he loves looking out the windows, especially when he’s sick and I can’t take him outside?” she explains in upspeak.

“It’s the law,” the not-unkind super replies — though Alex, now 2, can barely sit up, let alone reach the sill.

“You’re an excellent superintendent,” Mary Jane says. She is the embodiment of apologizing for living.

That, at its heart, is the condition that Amy Herzog’s steel-trap play “Mary Jane” explores: The death of the self in the love for one’s child. As with Alex, so for his mother: There is no cure.

Back to top button