How is Ford’s Theatre marking the sesquicentennial of Lincoln’s assassination? It’s staging a play about Mary Lincoln. Hope the Secret Service are keeping the Obamas far, far away from this one.
The moment is just one of many pathos-crammed sequences in “The Widow Lincoln,” the doleful historical monument of a play at Ford’s Theatre. Written by James Still (“The Heavens Are Hung in Black”) and directed by Stephen Rayne, this world premiere broods knowledgeably over the plight of Mary Todd Lincoln after the assassination of her husband, President Abraham Lincoln, at Ford’s Theatre in 1865. While fever-dream design and dramaturgy evoke the first lady’s mental health problems, there’s an aching universality to the production’s portrait of grief and bewilderment in the face of loss.