Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany (Photo: Joan Marcus)
It was a packed house at Minetta Lane Theatre for the world premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s feminist paean, The Half-Life of Marie Curie. This bracing two-hander stars Francesca Faridany in the titular role and Star Trek’s Kate Mulgrew as famed suffragette and female engineer, Herta Ayrton.
“Science is always there, grand and calm, a refuge against all evils. That is what I feel when I settle into my laboratory and that is what Madame Curie must remember,” Ayrton famously quoted. The play opens in 1912 France and trains a microscope on a crumbling Curie. It’s six years after her husband Pierre has died, having successfully worked with Marie to purify and distill tons of pitchblende into radium — the tiny, glowing vial of green fire she unwisely carries in her pocket to remember the love of her life.