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Review: Rachel McAdams paints a somber picture of motherhood in ‘Mary Jane’ on Broadway

Academy Award nominee Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight”) makes her Broadway debut in “Mary Jane” on Broadway.

Rachel McAdams in 'Mary Jane' on Broadway
Rachel McAdams in 'Mary Jane' on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
Rachel McAdams in 'Mary Jane' on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Academy Award nominee Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight”) makes her Broadway debut in “Mary Jane” on Broadway.

Anne Kauffman directed the show from a stirring screenplay by Amy Herzog.

McAdams stars in the title role as Mary Jane, a struggling but strong single mother, who is in an impossible family situation as her two-year-old son is severely ill (who the audience never sees).

Her character is faced with seemingly lofty odds, so the protagonist relies on unflagging hope and wit, along with the wisdom of the women around her who have become a makeshift family, in order to take on each new day, especially since her form of parenting revolves around intensive care.

Will her inner strength and newfound friendships be enough to see her through this ordeal? This is a play that will certainly spark conversations among the viewers (especially since the playwright leaves it open to interpretation in the end).

Most importantly, it ought to be enjoyed for its melancholy, authenticity, and simplicity, especially since there are moments where Rachel McAdams will break your heart, and make you forget that you are watching a play, and she will make you feel like you are experiencing real life by bringing Amy Herzog’s words to life.

The Verdict

Overall, Rachel McAdams is able to paint a poignant picture of motherhood in “Mary Jane” in a performance that runs the gamut. It tackles such themes as family, love, allegiance, care, and finding peace.

Despite its depressing subject matter, McAdams is able to sustain the audience member’s attention for its entire 90-minute duration. “Mary Jane” garners four out of five stars.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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