The current “Outside Mullingar” is a particularly sweet piece of writing, a pugnacious romance in Shanley’s “Moonstruck” and “Savage in Limbo” mode. The play’s four characters have an easy poetry and explosive humor that are nicely teased out in artistic director Mark Rhea’s calm production. Kevin Adams is Tony, a cantankerous old man who might not leave his farm to his moody son Anthony, a 40-ish man played with a hangdog mope by lanky Brandon McCoy. Rena Cherry Brown tartly plays a widow whose daughter Rosemary (Susan Marie Rhea, neatly alternating currents of thoughtfulness and sheer force) is the rural Irish county’s enigma: lovely, strong, and willfully alone.
The acting is schmaltz-free and very funny, cresting to a long, entertaining final scene between McCoy’s blissfully weird Anthony and Rhea’s determined Rosemary. It’s vintage Shanley; the characters hold nothing back. Moonstruck savages might be a fair description of Shanley’s misfit romantics, and you’ll find yourself grinning as Keegan’s quartet adeptly taps the flinty, winsome style.