'Oh, Mary!,' a surprise downtown hit, will play Broadway this summer
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'Oh, Mary!,' a surprise downtown hit, will play Broadway this summer
Cole Escola, left, as Mary Todd Lincoln and Conrad Ricamora as Abraham Lincoln in the play “Oh, Mary!” at the Lucille Lortel Theater in New York, Feb. 22, 2024. Cole Escola’s madcap comedy about the former first lady will begin performances in June. (Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

by Michael Paulson

NEW YORK, NY.- “Oh, Mary!,” an outrageously madcap comedy that imagines the former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln as an oft-inebriated chanteuse-wannabe, will transfer to Broadway this summer after becoming a surprise hit downtown.

The show, which is gleefully tasteless and also ahistorical, is the brainchild of Cole Escola, an alt-cabaret performer who built a cult following with a series of YouTube sketches and reached a wider audience with a role on Hulu’s “Difficult People.”

The Broadway run is scheduled to begin previews June 26 and to open July 11 at the Lyceum Theater. It is scheduled to run until Sept. 15.

“Oh, Mary!” began its life in January at the Lucille Lortel Theater in the West Village. That commercial off-Broadway run has been extended twice and is scheduled to end May 12. The run has been sold out, and has attracted a stream of celebrities, including Bowen Yang, Timothée Chalamet, Amy Schumer and Jessica Lange; one night Steven Spielberg, who directed the 2012 film “Lincoln,” showed up with Sally Field (who played Mary Todd Lincoln in the film) and Tony Kushner (who wrote the screenplay).

“Oh, Mary!” was written by Escola and is directed by Sam Pinkleton. The Broadway run will feature the same cast as the off-Broadway run, including Escola as Mary Todd Lincoln and Conrad Ricamora as Abraham Lincoln; it is being produced by Kevin McCollum, Lucas McMahon, Mike Lavoie and Carlee Briglia.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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