Director Mark A. Rhea cast the show quite perfectly and as a collective unit the actors pull at your heartstrings throughout the doom and gloom, as well as the somewhat more unexpected lighter moments. Strong technical elements, particularly Tony Angelini’s sound design and Patrick Lord’s projection design, transport you to the small town of Mullingar and go a long way to set the dreary mood. Against the backdrop, some exceptionally believable performances emerge.
John Patrick Shanley’s play is part family drama, part romantic comedy with an Irish twist. No matter how you slice it, it’s exceedingly charming and down-to-earth.
The complexities in Anthony and Rosemary’s relationship – and their quirkiness as individuals – need to be factor into the performances of any actors cast in these roles. [Brandon] McCoy and [Susan Marie] Rhea are up to the challenge and then some – complete with believable Irish accents. They give some of the finest and most believable performances I’ve seen at Keegan in years and embrace the weirdness of each of their characters. Their chemistry is a key ingredient for the production’s success. Kevin Adams and Rena Cherry Brown embrace the gloomy nature of the parental figures and have an uncanny ability to deliver humor in the midst of some pretty dark conversations. The ease in which they communicate during the initial scene sets the foundation for a wholly believable theatrical experience the entire evening.
This rewarding theatrical experience is a must-see for anyone interested in exploring the power of love, memory, and family in a small Irish town.