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Marvin’s Room


Marvin’s Room a Play by Scott McPherson

It concerns two sisters, Bessie, their father’s saintly caretaker who has leukemia, and Lee, a wisecracking, psychologically unstable free spirit who has not helped with the caretaking. Estranged since their father’s first stroke some 17 years earlier, Lee and Bessie lead separate lives in separate states. Lee’s son, Hank, has been committed to a mental institution after setting fire to his mother’s house. His younger brother, Charlie, seems unfazed by his brother’s eccentricities or his mother’s seeming disinterest. When Lee comes to the asylum to spring Hank for a week in Florida so that he can be tested as a possible bone marrow donor for Bessie, Hank is incredulous. “I didn’t even know you had a sister,” he says. “Remember, every Christmas, when I used to say ‘Well, looks like Aunt Bessie didn’t send us a card again this year?'” “Oh yeah,” Hank says. Meanwhile, Marvin, the two women’s bedridden father, has “been dying for the past twenty years.” “He’s doing it real slow so I don’t miss anything,” Bessie tells Dr. Wally. In Bessie’s regular doctor’s absence, it has fallen to Dr. Wally to inform Bessie that she has leukemia and will die without a bone marrow

It is based upon McPherson’s experiences with older relatives who lived in Florida. McPherson cared for his partner, cartoonist and activist Daniel Sotomayor, who died from AIDS. His experiences living in the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic influenced his writing.  Scott McPherson himself died in 1992 of AIDS at age 33.


Marvin’s Room

Previews Jun 08, 2017 / Opening Night Jun 29, 2017

Closed Aug 27, 2017

American Airlines Theatre



Janeane Garofalo – Broadway Debut Lee
Lili Taylor – Bessie
Celia Weston – Ruth
Jack DiFalco – Broadway Debut Hank
Carman Lacivita – Bob/Marvin
Nedra McClyde – Broadway debut Dr. Charlotte/Retirement Director
Luca Padovan – Charlie
Triney Sandoval – Dr. Wally



New York Times

TimeOut NY

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NY Daily News



Written by Scott McPherson
Original music by Daniel Kluger
Directed by Anne Kauffman
Scenic Design by Laura Jellinek
Costume Design by Jessica Pabst
Lighting Design by Japhy Weideman
Sound Design by Daniel Kluger

Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director/CEO; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director; Sydney Beers: General Manager; Steve Dow: Chief Administrative Officer)





227 W 42nd St (between 7th Ave & 8th Ave) New York, NY 10036

Times Sq – 42 St (7, 7X) 42 St – Port Authority Bus Terminal A,C,E to 42st ; N,Q,R Times Sq
(212) 719-1300
Box Office
Monday – Saturday: 10am – 8pm – Sunday: Noon – 6pm
Access Information
All Roundabout Theatre Company venues are accessible to patrons with mobility disabilities. The American Airlines Theatre
Fully accessible on both the Orchestra and Mezzanine levels
There is a wheelchair accessible to restrooms.