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Theatre / Mary, Mary

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Mary, Mary is a Comedy of Remarriage by Jean Kerr.

The play is about the professional and romantic headaches of Bob McKellaway, a bright, sensible fellow who heads a small publishing company, and the four guests he invites to his home-office apartment:

  • Tiffany Richards, a wealthy, no-nonsense young woman who is Bob's fiancée;
  • Oscar Nelson, a tax lawyer who explains to Bob that, what with the alimony the court ordered him to pay, he's not making ends meet and certainly can't afford a second divorce;
  • Dirk Winsten, a Hollywood actor who was once in the Navy with Bob, with literary aspirations and some surprising insights, and
  • Mary McKellaway, Bob's ex-wife, a highly moody woman who tends to crack jokes at the wrong moments.

Warner Bros.' 1963 film version starred Debbie Reynolds as Mary, and featured Barry Nelson (Bob) and Michael Rennie (Dick) reprising the roles they played on stage.


Not to be confused with the gospel music duo Mary Mary, or the song "Mary Mary", recorded by The Monkees among others.

This play contains examples of:

  • Bite of Affection: Invoked. After Bob's "reasonable" attempt to persuade Mary to return to him is angrily rejected, Oscar advises him that a less sensible approach might be more effective: "Tell her you want her back so you can bite her shoulders."
  • Must Have Nicotine: Mary's frantic search for a cigarette.


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