Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Outside Mullingar

In a charming single act, playwright, John Patrick Shanley, doesn't cease to entertain in this quirky Irish romantic comedy.  As with all thing Irish, there's always alcohol and death - but those aspects aside, Mr. Shanley rises above the expected dirge to present a lighthearted evening of theatre.

The delightful cast of a foursome consisting of a single parent from each of Debra Messing (Rosemary Muldoon), Brian F O'Byrne (Anthony Reiley) - the incomparable Dearbhla Molloy (Aoife Muldoon) and the lovable yet cantankerous Peter Maloney (Tony Reiley) do not disappoint.  Except for Ms. Messing, it seems the other 3 speak or at least were raised with a true Irish brogue and while Ms. Messing does a capable job, you can tell it's not her natural voice.

The follies of the family unfold in about 100 minutes and it's just the perfect timing for this tale.  Despite a curve ball being thrown by Mr. O'Byrne just before the end - you still suspect it's likely to turn out happy in the end.  But you'll have to wait to see just how it all plays out at the Friedman Theatre (i still call it the Biltmore myself) on West 47th.