Open main menu

Mary, Mary is a play by Jean Kerr. After two previews, the Broadway production opened on March 8, 1961, at the original Helen Hayes Theatre, where it ran for nearly three years and nine months before transferring to the Morosco, where it closed on December 12, 1964, after 1572 performances.[1]

Mary, Mary
Written byJean Kerr
CharactersMary McKellaway
Bob McKellaway
Dirk Winsten
Oscar Nelson
Tiffany Richards
Date premieredMarch 8, 1961 (1961-03-08)
Place premieredHelen Hayes Theatre
New York City
Original languageEnglish
SettingBob McKellaway's living room in a New York apartment building. The Present.


Carrie Nye as Tiffany in Mary, Mary (1961)

Directed by Joseph Anthony, the original cast starred Barbara Bel Geddes as Mary, Barry Nelson as Bob, Michael Rennie as Dirk, John Cromwell as Oscar, and Betsy Von Furstenberg as Tiffany. Bel Geddes was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.[2]

Later in the run, Nancy Olson and Inger Stevens were among those who assumed the role of Mary, while Bob was portrayed by George Grizzard, Murray Hamilton, and Tom Poston. Hiram Sherman replaced Cromwell as Oscar, Edward Mulhare and Michael Wilding appeared as Dirk, and Carrie Nye was cast as Tiffany.


The plot focuses on wisecracking cynic Mary and infuriatingly sensible Bob, only recently divorced and who have not seen each other in nine months, who meet at his apartment in the hope they can avert an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. A snowstorm forces Mary to spend the night, and the following morning, mutual friend and lawyer Oscar, Hollywood heartthrob and neighbor Dirk Winston, and Bob's considerably younger fiancée Tiffany arrive on the scene. The comedy's humor is derived from discussions about income taxes, marriage, alimony, divorce, remarriage, extramarital affairs, weight-loss programs, exercise, and sex.


Richard L. Breen adapted Kerr's play for a 1963 film version directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Nelson, Rennie, and Sherman reprised their stage roles, with Debbie Reynolds as Mary and Diane McBain as Tiffany. It opened at Radio City Music Hall to lukewarm reviews. [3] The play ran far longer than the movie.[4]


  1. ^ Berkvist, Robert.Jean Kerr, Playwright and Author, Dies at 80The New York Times, January 7, 2003
  2. ^ Awards listing Archived 2013-12-19 at the Wayback Machine Internet Broadway Database, accessed May 18, 2009
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley.ReviewThe New York Times, October 25, 1963
  4. ^ Wilmeth, Don B. and Miller, Tice L. Cambridge guide to American theatre (1996), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-56444-1, p. 252

External linksEdit