Review: There’s something (weird) about Mary

April 22, 2013 • Entertainment

This undated publicity photo provided by Philip Rinaldi Publicity shows Fiona Shaw as Mary in a scene from play, “The Testament of Mary,” by Colm Toibin, which opens Monday, April 22, 2013. The one-woman show directed Deborah Warner is currently playing a limited engagement on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. (AP Photo/Philip Rinaldi Publicity, Paul Kolnik)

NEW YORK (AP) — If every mother secretly believes her son is a saint, you’d have to imagine the Virgin Mary would be positively insufferable.

But she isn’t in Colm Toibin’s thrilling, idiosyncratic imagining of Mary’s life after her son’s death. The one-woman show, “The Testament of Mary,” opened Monday at the Walter Kerr Theatre starring Fiona Shaw — sharing the stage with a live vulture — and taking big bites out of the New Testament.

This is a bold work, one that portrays Mary as a critic of what will eventually emerge as Church orthodoxy. She thinks Jesus’ friends were a bad influence, doubts his divine powers and ultimately doesn’t believe his crucifixion was worth it.

“Gather together misfits, I said, and you will get recklessness, ambition, anything at all, and it will lead to what I saw, to the worst sort of catastrophe,” she says.

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