MamaDramaNY Review: The Lady From Dubuque

As part of our ongoing involvement with MamaDramaNY, we were honored to be invited to the show “The Lady From Dubuque” at Signature Theatre. Attending the show on Mommybites behalf, was writer Steve Spaleta.

This show takes place at a party hosted by Sam & Jo when a mysterious guest arrives. While playing a game of 20 questions, the question “Who are you?” become the focus of all the guests in the room.

Wow! What a ride from Edward Albee – the depths of darkness in Act I to denial’s lighter side in Act II. The Signature Theater’s masterful production of Albee’s “The Lady from Dubuque” had comparative tones from his play, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” – in his classic setting of a living room and drinks flowing freely.

Intriguing, dark, unresolved. From the outset, The Lady from Dubuque was quite a journey – I didn’t know whether to be angry or impressed at the playwright and cast for so intensely making me experience the pain and turmoil exhibited by actor Laila Robins (Jo) as she struggles through the last agonizing days of her life. My struggle to understand, almost made me leave the theater after the first act, but in Act II the entrance of The Lady of Dubuque (masterfully performed by Jane Alexander) and her comedic side kick Oscar (Peter Francis James) helped balance the play, and entertained and intrigued me thoroughly. This was not just a cast of characters, but the multitude of personalities. The final scene planted Sam Sam (performed magnificently by Michael Hayden) alone on the stage on his knees as the lights dimmed, asking “Who Am I.” The human condition of struggle, denial and wishing for something we are not permeated the play – shining light on the weaknesses of humanity and our last moments. – Steve Spaleta


Mommybites was given two complimentary tickets to go see THE LADY FROM DUBUQUE, Courtesy of PLAYTIME!, New York’s first child enrichment program that “makes sure that the children of theatre-going parents are well cared for and enjoying an afternoon of the arts with Playtime’s “ArtiSitters” while their parents enjoy a show.”

All opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author.


All tickets through March 25 are $25

Tickets beginning March 27 are $75

by Edward Albee

directed by David Esbjornson


Elizabeth: Jane Alexander

Lucinda: Catherine Curtin

Sam: Michael Hayden

Oscar: Peter Francis James

Carol: Tricia Paoluccio

Jo: Laila Robins

Edgar: Thomas Jay Ryan

Fred: C.J. Wilson

For more information & to purchase tickets, visit SIGNATURE THEATRE online.


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