Last week my friend David invited me to see Our New Girl, Atlantic Theater Company’s newest play, with him. I’d read that it was a thriller and thought YES! Who doesn’t love a good dramatic thriller?
About a stressed out wife (Hazel) with one super-creepy son (Daniel) and another child on the way, her husband (Richard) who is always busy and away for work sends her an au pair (Annie) to help her out around the house. While you think, at first, that the play is about Hazel’s super creepy son that is thisclose to possibly stabbing her, it’s really much more about how much she hates being a mother. She was a person just doing what was expected of her and what’s expected of women after they get married is that they have children. Her character, portrayed by ATC ensemble member Mary McCann, won my empathy once I realized what was going on inside her head. While I think most people have a maternal instinct that kicks in after giving birth, I think there might be a bunch who that doesn’t happen for and I feel really awful for the people who find themselves trapped in that position.
McCann did a lovely job as Hazel, while Henry Kelemn scared all of us as her disturbed son Daniel. CJ Wilson (Bronx Bombers) commanded the tiny stage as the husband, Richard and Lisa Joyce (Annie) was endearing as the Irish nanny.
I think this is a relevant piece. One with a surprisingly hopeful ending.