Broadway play about anti-Christian Mary closes early

A Broadway show that depicted the Virgin Mary as a doubting skeptic who thought Jesus died in vain failed to attract a large audience and closed on Sunday less than two weeks after it opened.

"The Testament of Mary" was a monologue written by the by the Irish writer Colm Toibin.

The play envisioned Mary, performed by actress Fiona Shaw, as a critic of Christianity who doubts Jesus' divinity and believes his friends are a bad influence. Mary is portrayed as someone with anger and sorrow over Jesus' crucifixion, The Hollywood Reporter says.

The play was originally scheduled to run at the Walter Kerr Theatre from April 22 to June 16. Instead, it closed after 27 previews and 16 regular performances.

In its first week, the show grossed about $216,000, only about 27 percent of its full potential, according to the Associated Press, which called the play "a victim of poor reviews and ticket sales."

The script was based on a novella also written by Toibin, who is an ex-Catholic.

"The Testament of Mary" was recently nominated for Tony Awards for best play, lighting and sound. However, the nominations failed to garner the audience necessary for the play to survive a full two weeks after opening on Broadway.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League called the play an "angry discourse on Catholicism."

"The play bombed. That's why it closed," he said in a May 6 statement.

"Quite frankly, there aren't enough people who want to spend their evenings watching a dark performance about a fanciful Virgin Mary who rejects the divinity of her son."

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